Last year, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty altered the usual tradition of the person in his position getting a new pair of shoes for the budget, instead putting on a display for the national press corps that included going into a shoe store in downtown Ottawa to pick up a pair of old shoes he had resoled.
He said the resoled shoes -- rather than brand new shoes -- were a symbol for the budget, which was going to be tight for tough times.
"You don't throw money around when times are tight," he said in Feb. 2008. "In fact, you never throw money around, but you want to be especially careful now in a time of economic slowdown."
Of course then he went on to deliver a budget that ratcheted up spending by over $5 billion ... but I digress.
Another year, another budget is on its way and this time I’m going to predict that Mr. Flaherty will revert to tradition and sport a pair of shiny new shoes on Jan. 27 as a symbol for a budget that will be all about spend, spend, spend, stimulate, stimulate, stimulate.
I’m not sure he can expense the shoes as part of the economic stimulus package but at the very least, it would send the right signal that it’s actually okay to spend some money to get our economy humming again.