This week will be a significant one for many Canadians.
The Ontario and federal governments will be tabling their budgets on March 27th and 29th respectively.
The federal budget will represent a dramatic shift in spending for the tories.
Although most political campaigns are built on fiscally conservative promises, history has shown that once in power governments tend to govern from the centre, irrelevant of their political stripes.
The Harper government, to the disappointment of their loyal Sun News watching supporters have proven they are no different since taking office in 2006.
Once in power, governments are lobbied from various interest groups and can't resist but caving in to those pressures. In addition, voters who are vocal in demanding low taxes are also the ones expecting top notch government services and investments.
But all good things must come to an end, including this lavish spending spree which started six years ago.
While part of the deficit can be attributed to stimulus spending in tough economic times, the Conservatives were fortunate to have a $13 billion surplus coming into office which they spent away within their first three years in power.
Flaherty never believed in the notion of stimulating the economy. He was known as a genuine fiscal conservative from his time in the Harris Cabinet and didn't want to be associated with record deficits at the federal level. But following political pressure from the top, he had no choice - automotive bail outs and stimulus spending followed.
Stimulus spending aside, the government still increased annual spending by 30% and the federal public service has added on more than 30,000 servants.
Despite promises of a non draconian budget, it is expected to be a transformational one that addresses the deficit at its core. It will target and reform programs which the government believes aren't sustainable like Old Age Security.
But perhaps the most important part of this exercise is the trimming of our public service.
The government could have been more collaborative in their approach with advocacy groups and unions, but decided to adopt their secretive approach instead.
They could have also controlled their messaging on the budget but decided not to go down that route either.
As a result, media outlets were digging their own scoops. The CBC reported that the government could end up spending as much as $2 billion on severance packages. This led to Treasury Board President Tony Clement going on the defensive the following day to assure Canadians of a lower cost.
If you can overlook those deficiencies and the possibility of continued sluggish economic growth in the short-term, there remains light at the end of the tunnel. That light comes in the fact that a reduction of government spending is much needed and long overdue. The revitalization of our public service in a reasonable manner can only be viewed as a good thing.
The inconveniences will be well worth it in the long run. After all the spending, the government must now refocus its priorities to balance the books and once again remind us of the adage: tory times are tough times.