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Finance Minister Jim Flaherty won’t have to answer questions about the budget from MPs until mid-April. (CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty won’t have to answer questions about the budget from MPs until mid-April. (CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)

With budget tabled, Flaherty is off to Hong Kong and Thailand Add to ...

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is defending his plans to leave the country shortly after tabling his 2013 budget, saying he often heads abroad once his budget work is done.

On Friday, Mr. Flaherty will deliver a speech to a business audience in Vancouver before heading to Hong Kong and Thailand.

“Usually I go to a financial centre [after a budget],” Mr. Flaherty told CTV News on Thursday. “I’m speaking in Vancouver at lunchtime, which is normally what I do after a budget. And then I would go to New York or London. This year it’s Hong Kong, which is a major global financial centre.”

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Asked whether he’s ducking, Mr. Flaherty responded: “You can’t hide in this world.”

On Thursday, the House of Commons rises for a two-week recess, meaning Mr. Flaherty won’t be around to answer questions on the budget from MPs until mid-April.

Typically, finance ministers travel the country talking up the budget after it has been tabled. Instead, Conservative ministers will fan out Friday to “highlight the benefits” of the plan.

The minister told reporters earlier that he plans to stay on as finance minister until the deficit is erased in 2015.

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