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Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivers a speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa on Feb. 6, 2013.


Politics Today is your daily guide to some of the stories we're watching in Ottawa and across Canada, by The Globe and Mail's team of political reporters.

Are the provinces broke?

A set of three economic announcements yesterday afternoon – a fiscal update in Alberta, a Throne Speech in Ontario and a budget in B.C. – give John Ibbitson much to worry about. While all three provinces want to balance their books eventually, all seem to be operating with a fair dose of optimism.

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For you budget wonks, Kevin Milligan has some tips on how to spot budgeting magic tricks.

Flaherty's fretting

And those provincial numbers aren't going to make federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty very happy. He's getting ready to talk to business advisers for updated forecasts as he prepares for this spring's budget, looking now like it will land in late March.

Venezuela takes a rain check on Baird

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's trip around Latin America didn't go quite as planned. Though he was scheduled to go to Venezuela, Hugo Chavez's unexpected recovery and return led the country to cancel on Mr. Baird. Campbell Clark explains why.

A goodbye to the stetson

Eugene Whelan, the colourful Trudeau cabinet minister, died yesterday at the age of 88. Mr. Whelan was agriculture minister from 1972 to 1984 (except for the Joe Clark months in 1979) and known for his green stetson and folksiness. He was later appointed to the Senate and his daughter Susan represented his riding during the Chrétien majorities.

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The Windsor Star has a look back at his life in pictures.

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