Over the past three years, the federal government has cut an ambitious path towards balancing the budget and by next year, it should be there.

After delivering what could be his last budget as federal finance minister, Jim Flaherty talked to CBC’s The Lang & O’Leary Exchange about how he weighs the two responsibilities of stimulating the economy and fiscal prudence.

He looked ahead to 2015, when Canada may have a surplus and said he’d prefer to use it to pay down debt.

“I’m still a fiscal conservative and I’m inclined to pay down debt. And you never know what’s going to happen along the road five years, 10 years from now, I don’t know what’s going to happen in different parts of the world, but I want to protect my own country and if we are in a good fiscal situation, then we will be strong like we were in the last crisis,” Flaherty said.