Canada to present federal budget week of March 21 - sources

Tue Feb 9, 2016 11:15am EST
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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA Feb 9 (Reuters) - Canada's new Liberal government is set to unveil its first budget in the week of March 21, two sources with knowledge of the process said on Tuesday.

The budget, which the Liberals have pledged will include major new spending aimed at boosting a flagging economy, is most likely to be presented to Parliament on Monday, March 21 or Tuesday, March 22, said one of the sources, who asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of the matter.

When the Liberals were in power from 1994 to 2005, they delivered 11 budgets, nine of which fell on Monday or Tuesday. The party will most likely stick to the same pattern, especially since the Friday of that week is the Good Friday federal holiday, the source said.

Another person briefed by finance department officials confirmed the budget would be released in the week of March 21.

In response, a spokesman for Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government had not yet announced a budget date.

A Liberal official said last month that the budget could be pushed back to April to give Morneau more time to judge how much damage low commodity prices are doing to the economy and government revenues.

Since then the Canadian dollar and the price of oil have recovered a little.

Two senior Liberals, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said the idea of an April budget was now off the table.   Continued...