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Look for 'prudent spending' in 2015: Oliver

By: The Canadian Press

 | Aug 12, 2014 - 3:14 PM |
Minister of Finance Joe Oliver speaks to media prior to holding a Summer Policy Retreat in Wakefield, Que., on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Minister of Finance Joe Oliver speaks to media prior to holding a Summer Policy Retreat in Wakefield, Que., on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

WAKEFIELD, Que. - Finance Minister Joe Oliver says next year's federal budget will include both "prudent spending" and debt reduction as the Conservatives set the table for a return to the polls in 2015.

Oliver, who took over the role earlier this year following the sudden death of predecessor Jim Flaherty, is also hinting at income tax cuts and other tax reductions in a budget that's expected to show a $6.5-billion surplus.

Oliver is meeting with 16 invited guests at a summer retreat in Wakefield, Que., about an hour outside Ottawa, over the next two days.

He's be looking for ideas on how to create jobs and feedback on the government's current fiscal plan.

Oliver says he's not worried about last month's dismal job numbers, saying the improving U.S. economy is expected to create jobs north of the border as well. Nor is he worried about a correction in Canada's housing market.

Many economists had predicted as many as 20,000 new jobs in July, but there were just 200 overall, with part-time work largely replacing full-time positions.

The annual retreat is billed as an opportunity for the finance minister to gather information in preparation for his fall economic update and the budget in the spring.

It is Oliver's first such gathering since being appointed to the position earlier this year to replace the late Jim Flaherty.

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