Ottawa officially in deficit

Finance department announces a $3.6 billion shortfall in March

For the first time in over a decade, the federal government finished a fiscal year in the red. The finance department announced on Friday that Ottawa lost $3.6 billion in March, closing the books on a fiscal year in which it ran a $2.2 billion deficit. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty blamed the shortfall on sharp declines in personal income tax and corporate tax revenue due to the recession. At this time last year, the federal government posted a surplus worth $11.4 billion. Flaherty says he doesn’t expect Ottawa to post another surplus for four years.

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