Canadian PM survives confidence vote

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Canada's scandal-plagued Liberal party survived a series of 15 confidence votes late last night ensuring Canadians won't be forced to head to the polls in a snap election this summer.

The minority government's win came amidst uncertainty over whether backbench MPs would force an election over the contentious issue of same-sex marriage.

But Prime Minister Paul Martin has yet another hurdle to jump with a key vote on Thursday over the government's second budget bill.

The bill is an amendment that came about as a result of a deal reached with the NDP Party in April, when the party's leader, Jack Layton, offered to support the Liberals if they would amend the budget to cancel corporate tax cuts due to be phased in over several years.

The budget deal with the NDP outlines $4.6 billion in spending for infrastructure, education, foreign aid and the environment.

Martin's government has been plagued by a sponsorship scandal over irregularities in public advertising contracts dating back to the 1990s awarded by the previous administration.