The news came as a surprise: Quebec now has a budget surplus. This is good news for a province that writes most of its budget in red ink. While this surplus is cause for celebration, already many commentators have proposed that it be "re-invested." Re-investment, of course, is code for more spending.
Reduce the length of time pensioners collect. The Auditor General noted that one of the biggest problems with the pension plans is that pensioners are living longer and collecting more and more benefits. It's not likely they will be willing to voluntarily give up their entitlements but steps can be taken to lower their life expectancy.
Mr. Flaherty may indeed eliminate the deficit in 2015-16 as planned. We hope he does. But his plan as conceived still contains considerable risk that shouldn't be ignored. More conservative revenue forecasts and lower program spending would reduce these risks and help to ensure he can deliver on his promise.