01/11/2012 01:33 EST | Updated 03/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Canada Budget: Jim Flaherty Says Demographic Crunch Looms Large In Pre-Budget Consultations


CALGARY - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the challenges of Canada's aging population are coming up repeatedly in his pre-budget consultations.

Government programs like Old Age Security are expected to be squeezed as baby boomers retire, and there's been speculation Ottawa may bump up the eligibility age from 65 to 67.

Ahead of meetings in Calgary on Wednesday, Flaherty said the government has not yet chosen a path to deal with the looming demographic crunch.

He says his 2012 budget will be flexible and pragmatic, and won't include any risky spending schemes that will increase deficits and taxes.

Despite the ongoing economic strife in the Eurozone, Flaherty says there are good signs of moderate growth for Canada's economy.

Flaherty also says his department is studying a Supreme Court ruling last month that a national securities regulator would encroach on provincial turf.

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