Canada posted a record budget surplus of C$13.8bn last year, allowing Ottawa to reduce its debt ratio to the lowest level in 25 years and paving the way for a fresh round of personal tax cuts.
The announcement on Thursday by Stephen Harper, prime minister, is likely to fuel speculation that his minority Conservative government is preparing for a general election either this year or early in 2008.
The federal government has run a budget surplus every year since 1998, allowing the Conservatives and their Liberal predecessors to bring the federal debt down to 32.3 per cent of gross domestic product. The debt-to-GDP ratio reached a peak of 74.8 per cent in 1996.
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