Oliver says Conservatives will keep promise to introduce balanced budget law

Finance Minister Joe Oliver says the Conservative government will introduce balanced budget legislation.

TORONTO — Finance Minister Joe Oliver says the Conservative government will introduce balanced budget legislation.

The legislation was promised in the October 2013 throne speech and mandates “concrete actions” in the event of a deficit. Critics have argued it’s largely symbolic.

Oliver is telling a business audience in Toronto that ministers and deputy ministers would have their pay cut by five per cent during a deficit situation.

There would also be an “automatic freeze” on operating spending.

However, the bill would allow for numerous exceptions during times of “extraordinary circumstances,” Oliver says.