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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The sharp decline in oil prices should not prevent Canada's Conservative government from balancing its budget next fiscal year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday.
He noted that the federal government does not get direct royalties from oil companies, though it does receive corporate taxes; and he said Finance Minister Joe Oliver had provided for cheap oil in the fall economic and fiscal update he presented on Nov. 12.
"This has a complex effect upon the economy, complex effect upon ultimately our federal finances, but for greater assurance, in the fall federal fiscal update the minister of finance made considerable allowance for additional uncertainty generated by the fall in oil price, so we remain very confident that the budget will be in balance next year," Harper told a televised news conference in Markham, Ontario.
Reporting by Randall Palmer and Leah Schnurr; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli