Canada hopes to start budget spending in March

Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:30pm EST
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government hopes that this year's budget -- which contains billions of dollars in stimulus spending -- will be formally approved in early March, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Thursday.

Hours earlier, legislators voted to send the budget to the finance committee for study. Before the measures can come into force, Parliament will need to vote on the legislation again and it will then have to be signed into law by the governor general, representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada's head of state.

"We will have it out of committee quite soon, so we'll be able I hope to have Royal Assent of our action plan by early March," Flaherty told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)