NEWS

Finance Minister Joe Oliver's fall economic update promises surplus

11/12/2014 11:35 EST | Updated 01/12/2015 05:59 EST
Canada will see a razor-thin $1.9-billion surplus in 2015, Finance Minister Joe Oliver said today, a number that the Conservatives are already using to argue that only they can keep the country's economy on track.

In a message that's sure to be repeated through the next federal election, which is set for Oct. 19, 2015, Oliver said the global economy "remains fragile" and the country must "stay the course" to ensure prosperity. 

CBC News is live streaming his speech at the Canadian Club in Toronto.

Oliver has previewed Canada's return to budgetary surplus in the lead-up to his official update.

The surplus had been projected to be $6.4 billion next year, but the Conservatives' new targeted tax cuts for Canadians with children and small businesses are expected to strip $5 billion out of it.

Another $500 million in lower spending and higher than expected revenue was added to bring the surplus to $1.9 billion.

Oliver also reduced by $3 billion the private-sector economist-predicted GDP for 2014, cutting the projections for 2015 and beyond a further $16 billion a year, because of falling crude oil prices.

The Finance Department is now projecting the surplus to grow to $13.1 billion in 2019-20.

The Conservatives made several of their 2011 campaign promises contingent on a return to balanced books, and are now in a position to fulfil those pledges.

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