Canadian finance minister to announce balanced budget April 21 amid drop in oil prices

TORONTO – Canada’s Conservative government will announce a balanced budget on April 21 amid a sharp drop in oil prices and ahead of a scheduled fall election.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver said Thursday it won’t include big cuts or a big stimulus package. The government postponed the budget for a couple of months because of the impact of the falling oil prices.

Oliver said a large stimulus budget is unnecessary because Canada is not in a recession.

Canada has the world’s third-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Much of it is in Alberta, which last week announced higher taxes and fees in its provincial budget.

The next federal election is scheduled for October. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has been in power since 2006.