Flaherty speech may have major announcement

Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks at a news conference at the G20 Finance Ministers summit in London September 5, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian Department of Finance announced a technical briefing on Thursday for reporters before a speech by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, suggesting a major announcement is coming.

The technical briefing will be ahead of Flaherty’s speech, scheduled to start at 3:50 p.m. (1950 GMT) in Victoria, British Columbia.

Spokesmen gave no hint as to what it was about.

Two newspapers said it would be related to the budget, showing how the government plans to return to balanced budgets.

The Globe and Mail newspaper, without citing any sources, said the government would show how it plans to balance the budget by 2015.

Flaherty said over the weekend he would present a budget update to Parliament later this month, outlining how he would balance the books without raising taxes or cutting payments to provinces. But he declined to say what his timetable was for doing so.

The government did announce on Monday that early in the fall session of Parliament it would announce measures to help long-tenured workers who have lost their jobs. However, Parliament’s fall session does not begin until September 14.

Reporting by Louise Egan and Randall Palmer; Editing by Peter Galloway