TD Bank Group Statement on U.S. Tax Reform

 On December 22, 2017, the U.S. government enacted comprehensive tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”), which makes broad and complex changes to the U.S. tax code that will take time to interpret.

The reduction of the U.S. corporate tax rate enacted by the Tax Act will cause The Toronto-Dominion Bank (“TD” or the “Bank”) (TSX and NYSE: TD) to adjust its U.S. deferred tax assets and liabilities to the lower base rate of 21 percent, and to adjust the carrying balances of certain tax credit-related and other investments. Based on the Bank’s current understanding of the Tax Act following a preliminary assessment, TD estimates the overall one-time impact of the Tax Act will reduce earnings for the quarter ending January 31, 2018 by approximately US$400 million.

The one-time impact of the Tax Act in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 is expected to reduce the Bank’s CET1 ratio by approximately 9 basis points.

While the Tax Act will require a one-time charge to earnings in the first quarter of fiscal 2018, the lower corporate rate is expected to have a positive effect on TD’s future earnings.

The expected one-time impact and effect on TD’s future earnings may differ from the Bank’s current assessment, due to, among other things, changes in interpretations and assumptions the Bank has made, guidance that may be issued by applicable regulatory authorities, and actions the Bank may take as a result of the Tax Act or otherwise.

TD will report first quarter financial results on March 1, 2018.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
From time to time, the Bank (as defined in this document) makes written and/or oral forward-looking statements, including in this document, in other filings with Canadian regulators or the United States (U.S.) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and in other communications. In addition, representatives of the Bank may make forward-looking statements orally to analysts, investors, the media, and others. All such statements are made pursuant to the “safe harbour” provisions of, and are intended to be forward-looking statements under, applicable Canadian and U.S. securities legislation, including the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements made in this document, the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“2017 MD&A”) under the heading “Economic Summary and Outlook”, for the Canadian Retail, U.S. Retail and Wholesale Banking segments under headings “Business Outlook and Focus for 2018”, and for the Corporate segment, “Focus for 2018”, and in other statements regarding the Bank’s objectives and priorities for 2018 and beyond and strategies to achieve them, the regulatory environment in which the Bank operates, and the Bank’s anticipated financial performance. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “will”, “would”, “should”, “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “estimate”, “plan”, “goal”, “target”, “may”, and “could”.

By their very nature, these forward-looking statements require the Bank to make assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, general and specific. Especially in light of the uncertainty related to the physical, financial, economic, political, and regulatory environments, such risks and uncertainties – many of which are beyond the Bank’s control and the effects of which can be difficult to predict – may cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements. Risk factors that could cause, individually or in the aggregate, such differences include: credit, market (including equity, commodity, foreign exchange, interest rate, and credit spreads), liquidity, operational (including technology and infrastructure), reputational, insurance, strategic, regulatory, legal, environmental, capital adequacy, and other risks. Examples of such risk factors include the general business and economic conditions in the regions in which the Bank operates; the ability of the Bank to execute on key priorities, including the successful completion of acquisitions and dispositions, business retention plans, and strategic plans and to attract, develop, and retain key executives; disruptions in or attacks (including cyber-attacks) on the Bank’s information technology, internet, network access, or other voice or data communications systems or services; the evolution of various types of fraud or other criminal behaviour to which the Bank is exposed; the failure of third parties to comply with their obligations to the Bank or its affiliates, including relating to the care and control of information; the impact of new and changes to, or application of, current laws and regulations, including without limitation tax laws, risk-based capital guidelines and liquidity regulatory guidance and the bank recapitalization “bail-in” regime; exposure related to significant litigation and regulatory matters; increased competition, including through internet and mobile banking and non-traditional competitors; changes to the Bank’s credit ratings; changes in currency and interest rates (including the possibility of negative interest rates); increased funding costs and market volatility due to market illiquidity and competition for funding; critical accounting estimates and changes to accounting standards, policies, and methods used by the Bank; existing and potential international debt crises; and the occurrence of natural and unnatural catastrophic events and claims resulting from such events. The Bank cautions that the preceding list is not exhaustive of all possible risk factors and other factors could also adversely affect the Bank’s results. For more detailed information, please refer to the “Risk Factors and Management” section of the 2017 MD&A, as may be updated in subsequently filed quarterly reports to shareholders and news releases (as applicable) related to any transactions or events discussed under the heading “Significant Events” in the relevant MD&A, which applicable releases may be found on www.td.com. All such factors should be considered carefully, as well as other uncertainties and potential events, and the inherent uncertainty of forward-looking statements, when making decisions with respect to the Bank and the Bank cautions readers not to place undue reliance on the Bank’s forward-looking statements.

Material economic assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained in this document are set out in the 2017 MD&A under the headings “Economic Summary and Outlook”, for the Canadian Retail, U.S. Retail, and Wholesale Banking segments, “Business Outlook and Focus for 2018”, and for the Corporate segment, “Focus for 2018”, each as may be updated in subsequently filed quarterly reports to shareholders.

Any forward-looking statements contained in this document represent the views of management only as of the date hereof and are presented for the purpose of assisting the Bank’s shareholders and analysts in understanding the Bank’s financial position, objectives and priorities, and anticipated financial performance as at and for the periods ended on the dates presented, and may not be appropriate for other purposes. The Bank does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by or on its behalf, except as required under applicable securities legislation.

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (“TD” or the “Bank”). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 25 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with approximately 11.5 million active online and mobile customers. TD had $1.3 trillion in assets on October 31, 2017. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol “TD” on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

Some Canadian companies start new year with gains from U.S. tax cuts: analysts

Some Canadian companies start new year with gains from U.S. tax cuts: analysts

By Ross Marowits

THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONTREAL _ Some Canadian companies that earn a high share of their revenues in the United States stand to save big from a large reduction in the corporate tax rate, say industry experts.

New Flyer (TSX:NFI) and Boyd Group Income Fund (TSX:BYD.UN), which earn more than 80 per cent of their sales south of the border, will be among those that are most impacted, an AltaCorp Capital report said Tuesday.

Analyst Chris Murray said that among engineering and construction firms, Stantec (TSX:STN) and WSP Global (TSX:WSP) will be “favourably impacted” from the tax changes and planned American infrastructure spending.

“We would expect that the introduction of new tax rules could serve as a catalyst for accelerated acquisition activity as a number of sellers see a window in which to divest their business to take advantage of the changes, benefiting the growth via acquisition strategies,” he wrote in a report.

Tax changes approved by the Republican-led Congress and signed by President Donald Trump before Christmas cut the corporate income tax rate to 21 per cent effective Monday, from 35 per cent.

Molson Coors, headquartered in Denver and Montreal, declined to provide details about how the tax changes will affect the brewery ahead of its quarterly results Feb. 14. However, 70 per cent of the beverage company’s revenues come from south of the border, said spokesman Colin Wheeler.

Brittany Weissman of Edward Jones expects Molson Coors will gain despite losing some of the cash tax benefit it has had from its multibillion-dollar acquisition of Miller Coors.

“Directionally it should be a net net benefit … but how much it is too soon to say,” she said in an interview.

Weissman also believes dairy processor Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP) stands to gain because almost half of its business is located in the United States.

However, she said Montreal-based clothing manufacturer Gildan (TSX:GIL) is already subject to a very low tax rate because it is domiciled in Barbados.

Several Canadian firms, including Quebec-headquartered Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (TSX:VRX) and Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR), said they are studying the tax changes.

“We are assessing the impact of the bill and its potential impact to the company in both the near-term and long-term,” Valeant spokeswoman Lainie Keller wrote in an email.

In a report before the tax changes were approved, RBC Capital Markets said large tax reductions could lead to a significant shift in winners and losers.

“We think it could have a profound and positive impact on TSX performance, given its cyclical tilt,” Matthew Barasch wrote Sept. 26.

However, he warned that clouding the outlook is the fact that most Canadian and U.S. companies operating south of the border actually pay a lower effective tax rate than statutory corporate tax rate.

“While a comparison of statutory tax rates (inclusive of all state and local taxes) suggests that U.S. rates are far higher than most other countries, a comparison of effective tax rates suggests something different.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers says the implications of the tax law on Canadian-owned businesses can be significant.

“The various provisions may be beneficial or detrimental. Thus, it is important to give careful consideration to the specific implications for your operations so that value is preserved when possible,” it wrote to clients after the bill was passed.

Barasch said some Canadian sectors such as oil and gas producers, telecommunications, grocers and Canadian retailers like Dollarama won’t be impacted, while some Canadian banks and insurance companies will get some earnings growth.

Most real estate companies would not be directly impacted because of their REIT structures, but non REITs such as FirstService Corp. and Colliers International Group Inc. (TSX:CIGI), with large U.S. footprints stand to benefit materially.

He said it’s difficult to quantify the impact for convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B), even though it gets nearly 70 per cent of its revenues from the U.S.

Ring in the new year with 10 tax tips

Canadians, and especially business owners, who take the time to plan ahead – rather than look back – will find that opportunities around personal taxes can be more than a holiday wish this season, according to EY Canada’s Asking better year-end tax planning questions.

“Tax rules are always changing and this year it’s more important than ever for Canadians to understand how the federal government’s private company tax reform proposals might impact their bottom line,” says David Steinberg, EY Canadian Tax Leader, Private Client Services. “The proposals are far-reaching and it’s critical for Canadians to pay close attention to what these changes mean for their tax planning now,  and well into the future. Early planning and action means taxpayers can prepare accordingly and save money on their 2017 returns.”

This December, EY suggests Canadians consider the following 10 questions as they plan their tax returns for 2017 and beyond:

1. Do you income-split private corporation business earnings with adult family members?
On 18 July 2017, the federal government introduced proposals and draft legislation that may limit income splitting opportunities with adult family members through the use of private corporations beginning in 2018. Consult with your tax advisor and consider maximizing income splitting with adult family members by distributing private corporation business earnings to them before the end of the year.

2. Do you receive non-eligible dividend income?
The tax rate applicable to non-eligible dividend income will be increasing for dividends received on or after 1 January 2018. If you have discretion over the amount of dividends received, consider receiving more non-eligible dividends prior to the end of the year. But be sure to weigh the savings of the lower non-eligible dividend tax rate against the tax deferral available by retaining income within the corporation.

3. Do you hold passive income?
The federal government has proposed to increase tax on passive earnings above a $50,000 threshold that will apply on a go forward basis. Draft legislation is expected to be released along with the spring 2018 federal budget. Now is the time to speak with your tax advisor on how to optimize grandfathering.

4. Do you have capital gains?
Although the government has indicated that it won’t proceed with proposals to restrict access to the lifetime capital gains exemption, and other capital gains planning, it’s important to review your capital gains transactions. Taking the time now to plan ahead can help you save on future returns.

5. Have you paid your 2017 tax-deductible or tax-creditable expenses yet?
There are a variety of expenses, including interest and child-care costs, which can only be claimed as deductions in a tax return if the amounts are paid by the end of the calendar year. You’ll want to check on expenditures that give rise to tax credits and consider if the deduction or credit is worth more to you this year or next.

6. Have you maximized your tax-sheltered investments by contributing to a TFSA or an RRSP?
Make your tax-free savings account (TFSA) and registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions for 2017 and catch up on prior non-contributory years. In order to maximize tax-free earnings, consider making your 2018 contributions in January. If you’re considering making an RRSP withdrawal under the Home Buyers’ Plan, you can withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP with no tax withheld, but must acquire a home by October of the following year. The funds must be repaid over 15 years starting the second calendar year after withdrawal. So if you can, wait until January 2018 before making the withdrawal.

7. Have you maximized your education savings by contributing to an RESP for your child or grandchild?
Make registered education savings plan (RESP) contributions for your child or grandchild before the end of the year. With a contribution of $2,500 per child under the age of 18, the federal government will contribute a grant (CESG) of $500 annually.

8. Is there a way for you to reduce or eliminate your non-deductible interest?
Interest on funds borrowed for personal purposes is not deductible. Where possible, consider using available cash to repay personal debt before repaying loans for investment or business purposes on which interest may be deductible.

9. Have you reviewed your investment portfolio?
Consider if you have any accrued losses to use against realized gains and determine if you have realized losses to carry forward.

10. Have you thought about estate planning?
Take time to update your will and consider if there are changes to your life insurance needs. It may be the right time to consider an estate freeze to minimize tax on death and/or probate fees. Developing a comprehensive succession plan can help you pass the benefit of your assets.

Steinberg explains: “These questions may seem familiar, but as tax rules change and become more complex, it becomes increasingly important to think of the bigger tax picture continuously throughout the year, as well as from year to year as your personal circumstances change. Start a conversation with your tax advisor to find better answers.”

To read EY tax insights and tips, visit ey.com/ca/taxmatters. To learn more about how EY works with private companies, visit ey.com/ca/private.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

Do young workers suffer first from increased payroll taxes?

By Jordan Press

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ “The first people who suffer when payroll taxes go up are young Canadians and new entrants into the workforce.” _ Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

_

Newly minted Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was hoping to lure young voters into the Tory tent this week when he said “payroll taxes” ultimately hurt new and young workers a key constituency in 2015’s Liberal election win.

Such workers would be left behind if increased payroll costs, linked to plans to expand the Canada Pension Plan, dissuaded businesses from making new hires, Scheer argued.

“This is the great lie of the left,” he said  ‘hat they hurt the people they claim to help.”

How much truth is there to Scheer’s statement?

Spoiler alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney” (complete methodology below).

This one earns a rating of “a little baloney” the statement is mostly accurate but more information is required.

THE FACTS

Scheer’s argument stems from a concern the Conservatives have voiced for years: increased Canada Pension Plan premiums dampen employer interest in expanding workforces because of increased labour costs.

Over seven years beginning in 2019, CPP premiums will be gradually increased as the program is expanded, resulting in a one per cent increase in the premiums paid by employers and employees.

That’s about $408 more per year coming off paycheques _ hence the Conservative “payroll tax” label.

The Tories point to 2014 research by the International Monetary Fund on youth employment in Europe that suggests a one per cent increase in payroll taxes can increase youth unemployment by between 0.3 and 1.3 per cent, compared to 0.5 per cent for adults. Likewise, Scheer’s staff point to a 2011 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) paper that said it is “reasonable to conclude” that higher labour taxes affect unemployment.

A University of Calgary study this year found higher corporate income tax rates tend to result in lower wages for workers. Older research papers suggest similar effects on wages in Colombia and Chile from changes in payroll taxes.

When looking at cost reductions, a 2014 Queen’s University paper found that employment rates increased between one and two per cent for young workers between the ages of 18 and 24 when the federal government offered would-be employers rebates on EI premiums.

The Liberals promised to do something similar in their election platform, but have yet to follow through on the pledge.

THE EXPERTS

Markets decide how best to deal with the costs of payroll taxes, be it through increased consumer prices or reduced shareholder revenues, but they mostly materialize through lower wages,

Companies decide best on how to deal with the costs of payroll taxes, either by passing the extra cost along to consumers in the form of higher prices, cutting dividends to shareholders or _ as is most often the case _ by cutting wages, said Ken McKenzie, an economics professor at the University of Calgary who co-wrote the 2017 paper.

“Most of the action happens on lower real wages and it takes some time for this to happen,” said McKenzie, who has studied and advised Canadian and international governments on taxation.

“Companies faced with higher payroll tax costs will just give lower increases in wages, or inflation will go up because labour costs go up, and that slowly erodes the real wages.”

Businesses can adjust their spending in the face of higher labour costs by cutting back on hiring, which affects new entrants to the labour force, said Craig Alexander, chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada.

Just how much the CPP premium increase, spread over several years, would affect hiring is unclear, but it would likely be minimal, Alexander said.

Tammy Schirle, an associate professor of economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., said a payroll tax that is clearly visible and directly connected to an individual benefit _ saving for retirement, for instance _ ought not have negative employment effects as long the benefit is of value to people.

CPP premium increases will likely reduce employment levels in the short term and be replaced in the long run by lower wages, said Ted Mallett, vice-president and chief economist with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. CFIB modelling suggests new entrants to the labour force, including youth, are likely to be disadvantaged in the long run as employers look to hire someone with more employment history.

It is possible that some employers will cut back on their private pension plans as a way to neutralize the effects of a CPP premium increase, but it’s unclear by how much, Mallet said. Employees, too, will likely cut back a bit on retirement savings, he added.

THE VERDICT

There is evidence to support Scheer’s comments about the general effects of payroll taxes. His statement, however _ one of his first as Opposition leader _ lands a rating of “a little baloney” because of a shortage of evidence when it comes to young workers.

“For political reasons, you can see why he would say that. His comments, as far as I can see, weren’t totally offside. He’s basically saying that payroll taxes may actually hurt people,” McKenzie said.

“He focused on young people, and that’s an area where there’s not a lot of empirical work, because most payroll taxes affect everybody.”

 

Jonathan Gruber (1995). “The incidence of payroll taxation: Evidence from Chile.” National Bureau of Economic Research. Link: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5053

Trump: Retailers and insurers get taxed more, tech less

By Marley Jay

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK _ To understand taxes, you have to think about geography. Don’t worry, this will make sense eventually.

The U.S. has high corporate taxes compared with other developed countries. That means companies that make most of their money inside the U.S. pay more in taxes than companies that do a lot of business overseas.

Retailers, utilities, health insurance companies have relatively high tax bills for those reasons, while technology companies, pharmaceuticals makers and energy companies can make a lot more money in other countries.

On paper, the top federal corporate tax rate in the U.S. is 35 per cent. Companies generally don’t pay that much, but they can have dramatically different tax bills depending on where they make their money.

RETAILERS

Take Macy’s, Wal-Mart and Nike, all retailers. Macy’s, a department store operator, makes all of its revenue in the U.S., according to FactSet, while Wal-Mart gets about a quarter of its revenue outside the U.S. and Nike makes almost 60 per cent of its sales in countries other than the U.S. That’s one important reason Macy’s pays higher taxes.

FactSet says that over the last five years, Macy’s average effective tax rate, or the percentage of its net income that it pays in state and federal taxes, has been more than 35 per cent. Wal-Mart’s tax rate was 31.5 per cent and Nike’s tax bill was around 23 per cent.

TECH AND DRUG COMPANIES

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, had an effective tax rate of 19 per cent over that five-year period and IBM’s rate was 18 per cent. Both companies get most of their revenue outside the U.S.

Prescription drug distributor AmerisourceBergen is also entirely U.S.-based, and it had a tax rate that topped 50 per cent over that period, but Gilead Sciences, a biotech drug manufacturer that gets a lot of revenue from other countries, paid less than half that much.

TAXING BY TERRITORY

JPMorgan calculates that most corporations pay a rate closer to 20 per cent because of a wide variety of tax credits, tax reduction strategies, and those lower taxes on earnings from outside the U.S. The Trump administration is proposing cutting the top corporate tax rate to 15 per cent, and it wants a “territorial” system where only profits made in the U.S. are taxed.

Because of the higher tax rates in the U.S., companies are motivated to say as much of their income is made outside the country as possible. If their products are made in another country, or assembled there, or will shipped there, or if they have a licensing deal with a non-U.S. company, the company may say that income comes from outside the U.S. so it can pay a lower tax rate.

BRINGING IT HOME

Companies that earn money overseas don’t want to pay the U.S. rates on top of the foreign taxes they’ve already paid. As a result, money they earn overseas often stays parked in banks and businesses outside the country. Major companies like Apple have billions of dollars sitting outside the country, and the ability to bring that money back to the U.S. without worrying about a big tax bill might be far more significant than a tax cut.

“The tax cut is very important for principally domestic companies, but for these multinationals it’s not nearly as important as the repatriation opportunity,” said Bob Willens, a CPA who teaches a course on corporate tax policy as Columbia Business School.

If those companies pay a one-time tax on all of those earnings and then don’t have to pay U.S. taxes on the money they make overseas in the future, they could invest in their businesses by buying more equipment, return money to investors by buying more stock and paying bigger dividends, or acquiring other companies. All of those moves could boost stock prices.

Taxpayers group says tax hikes a hazardous way to fix deficit problems

By Jennifer Graham

THE CANADIAN PRESS

REGINA _ The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says higher taxes are the last thing Saskatchewan needs in the provincial budget to be tabled Wednesday.

But Premier Brad Wall has said they will be there as part of the government’s three-year plan to balance the books.

Todd MacKay, the federation’s prairie director, says revenue is down from income, business and consumption taxes, and raising them doesn’t necessarily mean more money coming in.

“The reason for that is pretty clear folks have less money,” MacKay said Tuesday.

“So just increasing the tax burden on Saskatchewanians, when they’re already down, is a pretty hazardous way to fix a deficit problem. It’s not taxpayers’ fault for paying too little tax.”

The Saskatchewan government is facing about a $1.3-billion deficit.

Wall said Monday that some of the shortfall will be made up with tax increases. He said there will be a shift away from income taxes and toward consumption taxes. The government is also looking at the education portion of property taxes, provincial sales tax exemptions and the PST in general.

MacKay said the government should focus on spending.

“Families and businesses started trimming spending in Saskatchewan a couple of years ago,” he said.

“The government hasn’t done that yet. In fact, spending has continued to go up. They’ve got to recognize the reality: there’s less money in Saskatchewan. You’ve got to spend less money.”

For starters, MacKay said, the government should get out of the bus business and shut down the Saskatchewan Transportation Co.

But MacKay said Wall is “bang on when he’s looking at wages.”

Wall has said the government wants public-sector wages and benefits cut by 3.5 per cent, which could save about $250 million, although he hasn’t dictated how that should be achieved.

The government is trying to save money because of a big drop in revenue from oil and gas, potash and uranium. Tax revenue is also lower than forecast and crop insurance claims are up $250 million because of a late harvest.

Saskatchewan Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said there are difficult decisions in the budget.

“We’re going to set in place a plan where we’re not so reliant on resource revenues moving forward,” said Doherty.

“But we need to ensure that our program funding is sustainable over the long term and so we have to change course, make a bit of a shift with respect to where we derive our revenues from.”

Doherty is forgoing the tradition of new shoes ahead of a budget and has instead opted to have his old shoes resoled in a symbolic gesture of the fiscal challenge ahead.

“These shoes are perfectly good to use. They just needed some tweaking, they needed some adjustments, not unlike our economy.”

NDP finance critic Cathy Sproule said the Opposition is concerned about where cuts might be made and offered a pair of hip waders to Doherty.

“We thought that our finance minister’s in a little bit of trouble this year with the amount of deficit that we’re facing,” she said.

“We thought we would be helpful and maybe provide him with these hip waders because we know he’s really deep in red ink.”

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