Budget shoe breakdown

Amanda Shendruk takes a historical look at Canadian finance footwear

The 2013 national budget was released Thursday and already it has been dissected, questioned, examined, criticized, and scrutinized down to the smallest details. (Despite the varied analysis, though, I think we can all agree that parents who buy hockey equipment are this year’s budget “winners”).

In all this coverage, however, I’ve noticed a significant gap of analysis: The budget shoes. Yes, we all know Flaherty wore them (we know the colour: black, the style: Oxfords, the brand: Economic Action Plan (oops, I mean Roots), and the cost: $158.00), but how much do we really know? The gravitas of the finance shoe situation has yet to be fully realized.

The fact is the “tale of the finance minister’s new shoes” is not as much of a tradition as we have been led to believe. To date, only eight finance ministers have worn new kicks on budget day.

In fact, of the 68 budgets tabled since 1946, only 18 (or 26.5%) have verifiably involved new footwear

This fantastic tidbit comes from an amazing set of data created by the Library of Parliament—their systematic approach to the budget day shoe tradition is astoundingly diligent.

Read on for a graphical history of the not very traditional budget shoe tradition.