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Canada’s Finance Minister Joe Oliver speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons.
Canada’s Finance Minister Joe Oliver speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons.
(CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)

Joe Oliver’s big challenge: Living with budget surpluses

Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver expects to have 18 months in the position before his government faces an election. Thanks to the policy decisions made by his predecessor, the broad economic challenges he faces will likely be relatively modest. But Mr. Oliver will nonetheless face significant tests of his political abilities, particularly in how he deals with the government’s new problems: Budget surpluses and a declining debt ratio.