Stephen Harper promised on Thursday his government’s upcoming budget wouldn’t include “drastic cuts” to programs or tax increases, even as Ottawa struggles to pay down a record deficit. The prime minister specifically identified transfers to the provinces, as well as spending on health and education, as being shielded from any efforts to reduce public. “We said those things are protected,” Harper told reporters at a forestry funding announcement in Windsor, Que. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is expected to annouce the date his new budget will be presented when Parliament returns on Jan. 31.
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