Morneau puts on new shoes ahead of budget
Published Friday, March 18, 2016 10:10AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 22, 2016 9:28AM EDT
Finance Minister Bill Morneau put on a new pair of Canadian-designed shoes on Friday, ahead of tabling the Liberal government's first budget.
Morneau accepted the pair of shoes from children at a Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club in Toronto, on Friday morning. The black lace-up shoes were by Canadian shoe designer Ron White, who is well-known for his stylish but comfortable footwear.
"You can smell the polish from here," one boy said.
Some had speculated that Morneau would wear moccasins, as a sign of support for Canada's indigenous people, but he wound up choosing more traditional footwear.
The federal finance minister traditionally buys a new pair of shoes ahead of introducing a new budget, and the choice of shoe is usually seen as an indicator of what the budget will be like. Under the previous Conservative government, for example, then-finance minister Joe Oliver bought a pair of New Balance running shoes, before tabling a balanced budget.
Oliver was the first finance minister to opt for running shoes in Canadian history, as past ministers have typically chosen some form of dress shoe. However, there have been a few other quirky selections over the years, including John Crosbie's mukluks in 1979, Jean Chretien's gift of work boots for Paul Martin in 1994, and Jim Flaherty's choice to re-sole his shoes in 2008 and 2011.
Morneau's shoe choice is in keeping with the Liberals' trend of supporting Canadian products. Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, for instance, has worn many Canadian-designed dresses for her public appearances.
The Liberals are expected to introduce a bevy of infrastructure spending measures in the next budget, which will come with an anticipated federal deficit. The Liberals said during the election campaign they would spend billions into deficit to help boost Canada's economy and infrastructure.