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Flaherty Says Canada Will Balance Budget by 2015 Election

Canada is aiming to balance its budget before the next federal election expected in 2015 by pressing ahead with cost cuts and forgoing new spending, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said today.

Flaherty, in a speech today where he announced the start of public consultations for next year’s budget, said he will resist pressure from “special-interest groups” for new spending or tax breaks as he prepares the 2013 fiscal plan. He also pledged not to increase taxes.

“We simply cannot afford to risk the future of our children and grandchildren by running deficits longer than necessary,” Flaherty said, according to a prepared text of the speech distributed by his office. “Although we are prepared to be flexible and pragmatic should circumstances warrant, our plan is to stick to our plan: balanced budgets and low taxes.”

Last week, Flaherty issued a fiscal update that projected a balanced budget in the fiscal year that begins April, 2016.

The government would act to protect the Canadian economy should external risks to growth materialize and will continue to build on “pro-growth initiatives” such as measures to improve worker skills and training and encourage venture capital, he said.

“We will prepare accordingly and responsibly to protect Canadians and the Canadian economy,” Flaherty said.

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