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Snazzy shoes: what Canada’s finance ministers wore on their feet on budget day

Ralph Goodale, then the finance minister, shows off to journalists his new square-toed $250 Ecco shoes with polyurethane soles on Feb. 23, 2005 in the National Press Theatre in Ottawa. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
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OTTAWA—No one knows the origins of why Canada’s federal finance minister buys a new pair of shoes to deliver the budget every year, but it’s believed the tradition started in 1960 when Progressive Conservative finance minister Donald Fleming bought a new pair of shoes for the occasion. Ever since, finance ministers have either bought a new pair of shoes to reflect the tone of the government’s budget or opted not to buy any new shoes at all. Finance Minister Bill Morneau bought a new $250 pair of black calf skin leather Oxford shoes on Tuesday from Poppy Barley in order to release his second budget in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. Last year, he wore a brand new pair of black lace-up shoes by designer Ron White. Here’s a look at what finance ministers wore since 1946.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau show off the 2016 budget as they head into the House of Commons on March 22, 2016. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Finance minister, budget day, budget day shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, March 22, 2017, wore new $250 black calf skin leather Oxford shoes from Canadian company Poppy Barley

-Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, March 22, 2016, wore new Canadian-made black lace-up shoes by designer Ron White

Finance Minister Joe Oliver speaks to the host of CBC TV’s Power and Politics at the time, Evan Solomon, in the foyer of the House of Commons on April 21, 2015. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

-Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver, April 21, 2015, wore new black New Balance sneakers with blue trim

Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on March 29, 2012, puts on a pair of black lace-up shoes that he bought from the Rideau Centre in Ottawa. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

-Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, March 11, 2014, wore a new pair of steel-toed black wingtips

-Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, March 21, 2013, wore new $158 black leather Oxford lace-ups

-Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, March 29, 2012, spent $138.98 on new black lace-up shoes (insoles and tax included)

-Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, June 6, 2011, did not wear new shoes

-Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, March 22, 2011, did not wear new shoes, wore resoled dress shoes

-Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, March 4, 2010, wore new $271.20 Ecco shoes

-Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Jan. 27, 2009, wore new steel-toed $141.09 Airflex work shoes

-Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Feb. 26, 2008, did not wear new shoes, wore resoled brogues

-Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, March 19, 2007, did not wear new shoes, purchased a pair of Canadian-made skates for his son John

Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, May 2, 2006, wore new $185 shoes

Liberal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale on Feb. 23, 2005 in the National Press Theatre shows off to journalists his new square-toed $250 Ecco shoes with polyurethane soles. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

-Liberal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, Feb. 23, 2005, wore new square-toed $250 Ecco shoes with polyurethane soles

-Liberal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, March 23, 2004, wore new black Oxfords

John Manley. The Hill Times file photograph

-Liberal Finance Minister John Manley, Feb. 18, 2003, did not wear new shoes

Paul Martin delivers a budget speech in the House of Commons during his time as finance minister from 1993 to 2002. The Hill Times file photograph

-Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin, Dec. 10, 2001, did not wear new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin, Feb. 16, 1999, did not wear new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin, Feb. 24, 1998, did not wear new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin, Feb. 18, 1997, did not wear new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin, March 6, 1996, did not wear new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin, Feb. 27, 1995, did not wear new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin, Feb. 22, 1994, wore new work boots

Don Mazankowski. The Hill Times file photograph

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Don Mazankowski, Feb. 25, 1992, did not wear new shoes

Michael Wilson, while he was finance minister during the Mulroney government, wore new shoes some years and didn’t others. The Hill Times file photograph

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Michael Wilson, Feb. 26, 1991, did not wear new shoes

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Michael Wilson, Feb. 20, 1990, did not wear new shoes

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Michael Wilson, Feb. 10, 1988, wore new shoes

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Michael Wilson, Feb. 18, 1987, wore new shoes

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Michael Wilson, Feb. 26, 1986, wore new shoes

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Michael Wilson, May 23, 1985, wore new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Marc Lalonde, Feb. 15, 1984, wore new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Marc Lalonde, April 19, 1983, unknown

Allan MacEachen was finance minister for three budgets, but it’s not known whether he picked up a new pair of shoes before each one. The Hill Times file photograph

-Liberal Finance Minister Allan MacEachen, June 28, 1982, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Allan MacEachen, Nov. 12, 1981, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Allan MacEachen, Oct. 28, 1980, unknown

John Crosbie. The Hill Times file photograph

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister John Crosbie, Dec. 11, 1979, wore used mukluks

Jean Chrétien wore new shoes for both the budgets he delivered. The Hill Times file photograph

-Liberal Finance Minister Jean Chrétien, Nov. 16, 1978, wore new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Jean Chrétien, April 10, 1978, wore new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Don MacDonald, March 31, 1977, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Don MacDonald, May 25, 1976, unknown

John Turner delivered five budgets in four years. The Hill Times file photograph

-Liberal Finance Minister John Turner, June 23, 1975, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister John Turner, Nov. 18, 1974, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister John Turner, May 6, 1974, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister John Turner, Feb. 19, 1973, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister John Turner, May 8, 1972, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Edgar Benson, June 18, 1971, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Edgar Benson, March 12, 1970, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Edgar Benson, June 3, 1969, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minster Edgar Benson, Oct. 22, 1968, unknown

Mitchell Sharp wore new shoes both years he delivered the budget. The Hill Times file photograph

-Liberal Finance Minister Mitchell Sharp, June 1, 1967, wore new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Mitchell Sharp, March 29, 1966, wore new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Walter Gordon, April 26, 1965, did not wear new shoes

Liberal Finance Minister Walter Gordon, March 16, 1964, did not wear new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Walter Gordon, June 13, 1963, did not wear new shoes

It’s believed the budget shoe-buying tradition started in 1960 when Progressive Conservative finance minister Donald Fleming bought a new pair of shoes for the occasion. Photograph courtesy of the House of Commons

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Donald Fleming, April 10, 1962, unknown

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Donald Fleming, June 20, 1961, unknown

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Donald Fleming, March 31, 1960, wore new shoes

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Donald Fleming, April 4, 1959, unknown

-Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Donald Fleming, June 17, 1958, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Walter Harris, March 14, 1957, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Walter Harris, March 20, 1956, unknown

Douglas Abbott was finance minister from 1946 to 1954. Photograph courtesy of the House of Commons

-Liberal Finance Minister Walter Harris, April 5, 1955, did not wear new shoes

-Liberal Finance Minister Douglas Abbott, April 6, 1954, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Douglas Abbott, Feb. 19, 1953, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Douglas Abbott, April 8, 1952, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Douglas Abbott, April 10, 1951, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Douglas Abbott, March 28, 1950, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Douglas Abbott, Oct. 20, 1949, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Douglas Abbott, March 22, 1949, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Douglas Abbott, May 18, 1948, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister Douglas Abbott, April 29, 1947, unknown

-Liberal Finance Minister James Isley, June 27, 1946, unknown

Source: Library of Parliament

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