Canada Avoids Summer Election

TORONTO (AP) - Canada's prime minister reached a deal Wednesday
with one of three opposition parties allowing him to avoid early
elections.

The opposition Liberals had been threatening to join two other
opposition parties in toppling Prime Minister Stephen Harper's
minority government on Friday if Harper didn't unveil planned
changes for unemployment insurance.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said a deal was reached that
allows his party to appoint three members to a panel that would
recommend changes to unemployment insurance.

"Nobody wants yet another election," said Harper, who was
re-elected last October.

The Liberals could still force a federal election in the fall.
If all three opposition parties vote against the government, it
would trigger an election.

The three opposition parties hold 163 seats in Parliament, while
the Conservatives have 143 and there is one independent.

Harper said he's operated in an environment of constant threat
and said Canadians want to see more cooperation.

"They don't want to hear that this is all a disguise for an
election in the fall. They didn't want an election now and they're
not going to want an election in the fall," Harper said. "We're
in the first year of this Parliament and we're in the middle of a
recession. Canada is doing relatively well. Nobody wants to see us
plunged into an election."


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