POLITICS

13 Ways The Canadian Budget Has Gone Populist (PHOTOS)

03/21/2013 10:06 EDT | Updated 03/21/2013 10:06 EDT

Federal budgets in Canada can be massive documents, outlining the country's plans to slash spending, raise taxes and deal with a annual spending of more than $250 billion.

They're also political documents, ways for the government to reach out to voters and score some political points so they can go out there and do more budgets. Last year's announcement on killing the penny, for example, was a way to eliminate $11 million in annual costs, but it made major headlines.

So we've dug into the past 10 years of fiscal highlights to grab some of the interesting, wacky and head scratching ways the Liberal and Conservative governments have crammed in a smorgasbord of cuts and spends.

13 Ways The Budget Has Gone Populist

Volunteer firefighters

Year: 2011

What: Tax credits for volunteer firefighters

Travellers

Year: 2004

What: A reduction in the Air Travellers Security Charge

Adoptive parents

Year: 2005

What: Tax credit of up to $10,000 for adoptive parents for fees related to their adoption.

Parents of active kids

Year: 2006

What: Parents can get a tax credit of up to $500 if children under 16 enrol in fitness activities.

Students

Year: 2007

What: Canadian museums get $5 million to get summer interns

Traveller

Year: 2007

What: Forty-eight hour visits outside of the country gets at $400 limit duty and tax free.

Armed Forces members

Year: 2004

What: Canadian soldiers don't pay income tax while on "high risk operational missions" overseas. It was pegged to cost about $30 million a year.

We politicians feel your pain too

Year: 2010

What: PM, MPs, senators take a wage freeze.

Patriotism

Year: 2008

What: $25-million for 2010 Olympic torch relays.

Truck drivers

Year: 2007

What: Truck drivers can deduct meal expenses of up to 80 per cent from 50 per cent.

Pocket change

Year: 2012

What: Canadian penny eliminated at savings of $11 million.

Funny money

Year: 2010

What: Polymer bills that will last longer, saves $15 million.

Hockey parents

Year: 2013 (reportedly)

What: Cut tariffs on imported hockey gear.

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Budget Highlights 2013