You’re thinking maple syrup, poutine, maybe beaver tails—I’m thinking shoes.
Back in 1955, Finance Minister Walter Harris wore new shoes to present the budget and a Canadian parliamentary tradition was born. What started as a coincidence has become a quirky comment on the economy and what the government intends to do about it.
In 2015, Finance Minister Joe Oliver wore New Balance running shoes to brag on the fact that his government was presenting a balanced budget.
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews presented his 2021 budget wearing made-in-Alberta boots because “economic recovery is key to digging ourselves out of the hole we’re in.”
In 2020, Northwest Territories Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek tabled her first budget wearing seal fur shoes made by ENB artisan from Iqaliut, Nunavut.
In 2006, British Columbia’s Finance Minister Carole Taylor got a lot of flak for presenting her budget in Gucci shoes.
Some finance ministers have elected to present their budgets in something other…
Finance Minister John Crosbie walked a different path, presenting his budget in mukluks.
Finance Minister Paul Martin laced up work boots in 1994.
In Alberta, Stockwell Day presented budgets in 1999 wearing inline skates and a helmet “to represent the speed at which Alberta could adapt to a changing economy.”
Apparently, finance ministers across Canada have adopted the adage If the shoe fits, wear it.