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Back in black

For the first time in almost a decade, it appears that Canada is back in the black.

For the first time in almost a decade, it appears that Canada is back in the black.

In what many are deeming a fairly low-key 2015 federal budget, with not too much in the way of spending cuts and increases, Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver was able to follow through on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's promise of balancing the books a whole 12 months ahead of schedule.

Posting an anticipated surplus of $1.4 billion for 2015, the federal government deserves an awful lot of credit for the way they have conducted themselves over the past several years.

With the Great Recession taking its toll, not only in Canada but across the globe, Harper and his cabinet have often found themselves with difficult decisions to make when it comes to spending and distributing federal dollars. With times at their toughest and the government staring at a record near $60 billion deficit, the feds had a decision to make – spend and drive the country further into debt, or scrimp and save at the expense of Canadian families and infrastructure.

It turns out, Harper decided he could do both and so Canada's ‘Economic Action Plan' was born.

Since 2009, the government has managed to slash what was a ridiculously large deficit down an average of $10 billion a year. They have managed to do it without ignoring important federal facets such as the military, social health and education, and infrastructure.

Sure, there has been much made over the past seven days about Oliver's decision to drain $2 billion from Canada's contingency fund in order to balance the budget this year, even the staunchest Conservative critic cannot ignore the facts as it pertains to the government's ability to drag the country out of deficit.

If you look at any other country in the world, Canada is right up there amongst the economic leaders, leaving behind supposed powerhouse nations such as the United States and United Kingdom, who are each still struggling with astronomical debts of their own.

This year's budget may read more like an election document, as per Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, but be that as it may it also marks the conclusion of a well-planned seven-year journey for Harper and his cabinet to bring the country up off of its knees. For that, the Conservatives deserve at least a little bit of recognition.

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