Joe Oliver defends coming tax breaks in face of sliding oil saying

TORONTO — Finance Minister Joe Oliver is refusing to provide a deadline for when the Conservative government will table its now-delayed budget, saying he doesn’t want to get into “negative hypotheticals.”On Thursday, Oliver said the next federal budget wouldn’t be tabled until at least April to give the government more time to evaluate just how badly falling oil prices will affect the Canadian economy.He repeated that explanation at an announcement in Toronto, saying the government will make a decision on when to issue the budget as it approaches April.Oliver also defended the government’s announcement of family-friendly tax breaks late last year as oil prices were sliding, saying a government surplus “is not there to look at.”He says the government felt it was important to use the surplus to provide benefits to Canadians. The federal budget usually comes before the end of the fiscal year on March 31.