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Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (Adrian Wyld/Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (Adrian Wyld/Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

N.B. Premier lets Flaherty's budget secret out of the bag Add to ...

It may be the worst-kept secret in political Ottawa - and the country. But Jim Flaherty will deliver his budget on March 22. The Finance Minister hasn't confirmed this. But others are talking.

Over breakfast Tuesday at the Fairmont Château Laurier, David Alward, the new Progressive Conservative Premier of New Brunswick, said he will be delivering his budget on the same day as the feds. And what's the date? He and his aides confirmed it was March 22.

Mr. Alward was in town to meet with the Prime Minister and several senior cabinet ministers, including Mr. Flaherty, Transport Minister Chuck Strahl and Heritage Minister James Moore. He said he wanted to talk to the Prime Minister about equalization payments, energy issues and the health-accord negotiations.

And then there was the article last week in a community paper - SurreyNow - in which B.C. Tory MP Dona Cadman allowed that the federal budget was to be delivered on March 22. It was just an aside, basically, in a story about anti-gang programs in her riding.

Mr. Flaherty, meanwhile, has played coy with those who have asked about the budget date. After all, this is the budget that could defeat the Harper minority government, if all three opposition parties vote to oppose it.

He has repeatedly said the budget will be delivered in March. Recently, he was a little more specific, noting the budget would not come down during the March-break week. In Ontario, the break week begins March 13.

The other budget date being mentioned - but not as firmly as the March 22nd date - is March 29.

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