Oliver says he didn't intrude on Ontario campaign by criticizing pension plan

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OTTAWA - Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver says he didn't intrude on the Ontario election campaign when he criticized the economic centrepiece of provincial Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne's platform.

The Harper government took the rare step of wading into a provincial campaign last week by attacking Wynne's proposal to introduce a new mandatory pension plan for Ontario.

Oliver took aim at Wynne's pension plan in a radio interview on the weekend, warning it would hurt Ontario's fragile economy and kill jobs.

His remarks followed an assertion by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Wynne's pension idea was little more than a tax that voters would not support.

Wynne has accused the federal Conservatives of balancing their books on the backs of Ontarians by cutting transfer payments for health and social spending.

Oliver says he wasn't trying to interfere with the election, but merely wanted to respond to Wynne's original comments.

Oliver also says it's not the time to impose such a tax on Ontario's weakened economy.

Wynne called the election Friday after opposition parties said they would vote against the provincial budget, which featured the pension proposal.

Geographic location: Ontario, OTTAWA

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