OTTAWA — Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will tell us this week how he'll spend the more than $210 billion his government will collect in taxes from us in the next year.
Thomas Mulcair and the NDP would like Flaherty to spend some of that money to restore a generous tax credit for those who improve the energy efficiency of their homes, to reverse the closure of some Veterans Affairs offices and to "make life more affordable" for all of us.
In the House of Commons and in speeches around the country, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has been saying "the budget ... must invest in Canadians to grow our economy and build a thriving middle class." When politicians say "invest," of course, they mean spend.
As for Flaherty, reporters tried Friday to get him to tell us what he will do, but all we got was: "There will be initiatives in the budget that will help continue to encourage economic growth, jobs and prosperity in Canada."
We'll get the details on how Flaherty will do that — with our $210 billion — when he rises in the House of Commons on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Don't expect a great deal. In fact, the word in Ottawa is that this will be the thinnest of Flaherty's nine budgets. (In 2011, he did two budgets after his government was defeated on the first one).
The deficit will not be eliminated until next year and there will be no major new spending or tax initiatives.
In the meantime, it's worth considering what Flaherty — one of Canada's longest serving finance ministers — has done "to encourage economic growth, jobs and prosperity."