The Conservative government has delivered a boa constrictor budget, putting the squeeze on spending to slay the deficit.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's 10th federal budget all but balances the books in fiscal 2014, leaving only a 2.9 billion shortfall with a three-billion-dollar reserve.
And he's forecasting a surplus of 6.4-billion for next year, just in time for the next election.
Flaherty is putting off 3.1-billion dollars in planned military equipment purchases over the next three years.
He is also bringing in higher tobacco taxes worth nearly 700-million dollars in 2014-15 and plans to save 7.4-billion dollars over six years by getting retired public servants to pay more for health benefits.
The Conservatives are also trying to appease angry veterans by topping up the Last Post funeral fund, expanding the eligibility criteria to cover the burial of impoverished ex-soldiers from modern conflicts like Afghanistan.
Other initiatives aimed at consumers include a promise of 305-million over five years to expand rural and northern broadband Internet service and another 10-million for snowmobile trails.
There are also a host of non-budgetary measures that carry no cost, including a promise to crack down on unjustified cross border price differences for the same goods.
When totalled up, it's all done on the cheap with actual new spending totalling 700-million dollars against cuts that top two-billion.
The net result is that total government spending, including debt servicing charges, actually falls slightly in 2014-15, to 279.2-billion dollars.
ScotiaBank economist Mary Webb says the extent of the cuts to direct program spending are very substantial.
But she says the government had to downsize from the stimulus spending of the recession.