Every year ahead of the provincial budget being tabled, the finance minister chooses a new pair of shoes to wear on budget day. But this year, Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews is changing it up.
In a video released by the province Monday, Toews revealed that he will re-wear the shoes he chose for last year’s provincial budget. Last year, Toews wore a pair of cowboy boots that were purchased from the Alberta Boot Company in Calgary.
“They’ve served me well over the past year and I’ll be wearing them again this year,” Toews said in the video.
The finance minister goes on to say that Alberta budget 2022 “is a budget for you, for your future, for your kids’ future and for Alberta’s future.”
“So let’s all put on our shoes and start moving forward.”
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From rubber boots and work boots, to running shoes and ballet flats, the video shows people from all walks of life putting on their footwear to go about their day.
“Every day, Albertans put on their shoes to go to work, to earn a living and provide for themselves and families,” Toews can be heard saying in the video.
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Toews acknowledges that the past two years have been hard for Albertans, many of whom have lost their jobs or changed work amid the uncertainties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shoe reveal comes ahead of a busy week at the Alberta legislature, which kicks off Tuesday with a speech from the throne. Then, the 2022 Alberta budget will be tabled on Thursday.
In an interview Monday, Toews said this budget will have themes consistent with the 2021 budget.
“We’re going to be sticking to our budget plan, our fiscal plan. We’re going to be reporting fiscal progress this year — fiscal progress relative to the fiscal anchors that we laid out in budget 2021,” he said.
Thursday’s budget will position Alberta’s economy for growth and diversification, according to the finance minister.
“We’ve worked hard to really position the province for investment attraction and growth, and we’ve taken a broad-based approach. I really believe that’s important,” Toews said. “Taking a broad-based approach, I believe, ultimately results in sustainable economic diversification.”
“We’ve had a continued focus on economic recovery, economic growth for the province of Alberta, a continued economic diversification, and budget 2022 will continue on that theme.
“We’ll be, again, I would suggest, celebrating our progress with respect to economic growth, economic diversification — all of that is leading to increased fiscal capacity in the province and that leads to additional government revenues.”
The budget will also focus on health care and overall health-care capacity, Toews said.
“No doubt as we take a look over the last two years, health care is a topic that’s top of mind,” he said.
“We will have a focus on health care and health-care capacity in this budget, absolutely. But this will be a budget, as well, that ultimately will be directed at Albertans and the achievements we’ve made together, the achievements and progress that Albertans have made.”
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Toews also noted there would be “no PST… no surprise taxes.”
New shoes for a new budget have become a Canadian parliamentary tradition, but the origin is unclear.
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