TORONTO - Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is urging the New Democrats to honour their agreement to vote for the budget and avoid another election.
McGuinty has written NDP Leader Andrea Horwath saying he's surprised and disappointed her party teamed up with the Tories to "gut" the budget at committee on Thursday.
He says Horwath helped dismantle the very budget she personally agreed to pass after convincing the Liberals to add a tax on the rich and increase payments for people on welfare and social disability.
In the letter, McGuinty asks for Horwath's written commitment not to alter the intent of the budget at committee Monday and Tuesday, and have the NDP caucus vote for it in the legislature Wednesday.
The premier says he and the people of Ontario understood she had twice agreed to help pass the minority government's budget.
McGuinty makes no mention his threats Thursday and Friday to call an election rather than have the opposition parties tear the budget apart.
The Progressive Conservatives have vowed to vote against the budget since the day it was introduced, but surprised the government by teaming with the NDP to remove budget provisions to allow privatization of services.
The Liberals need only one New Democrat or Tory vote to pass the budget and avoid the defeat of the minority government.
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