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Flaherty to present fiscal update Tuesday

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks in Toronto on May 3, 2010.

NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Finance minister Jim Flaherty will release the government's fall fiscal update Tuesday in Mississauga, laying out Ottawa's expectations for government revenue during a recovery that's proving to be slower than predicted.

A government source said the minister will commit to balancing the budget in the "medium" term. Mr. Flaherty recently said publicly that the budget would be balanced by 2014-2015, "or so."

The source also confirmed that the update will not include any policy announcements. Occasionally governments have used fall updates as a form of "mini-budget," but this one will be a more traditional update of projections for revenues and expenses.

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This will be the first long-term fiscal forecast since Mr. Flaherty announced that he would not be raising Employment Insurance premiums as fast as originally accounted for in the March, 2010, budget. The measure is expected to cost Ottawa more than $1-billion in revenues next year.

Mr. Flaherty will release the update as part of an address to the Mississauga Chinese Business Association at the Mississauga Convention Centre.

The government's revenue projections are based on input from more than a dozen private-sector economists, whom Mr. Flaherty met with privately last week. Several of the economists later said the projections for economic growth varied widely inside the room, leading some to urge the minister to err on the side of more pessimistic forecasts.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

A member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1999, Bill Curry worked for The Hill Times and the National Post prior to joining The Globe in Feb. 2005. Originally from North Bay, Ont., Bill reports on a wide range of topics on Parliament Hill, with a focus on finance. More

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