Manitoba’s Finance Minister Jennifer Howard ditched a long-time tradition of buying a pair of shoes before tabling the provincial budget on Thursday.

New shoes

Ever wonder why finance ministers buy new shoes before tabling a budget? The Parliament of Canada got to the bottom of the long-standing tradition in an article on parliamentary procedure. Click here to check it out.

For decades, politicians from across Canada and Manitoba have bought a pair of shoes prior to tabling a budget. Last year, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was fitted for a new pair at Roots in Toronto

But instead of going the traditional route, Howard bought a $35 necklace from Hilary Druxman Design in the Exchange District.

The Giving Stone necklace was the creation of local designer Hilary Druxman, and all of the proceeds from its sale go to United Way. Howard was apparently mulling two other choices of necklaces as well.

Minister offers little information on Thursday’s budget

Howard is expected to table the provincial budget on Thursday, but she’s remaining mum on what exactly will be in.

“There’s no big surprises — maybe some little surprises but hopefully they will be happy surprises,” said Howard.

Manitoba’s Tory Opposition Leader Brian Pallister said he’s not surprised the government isn’t planning any big moves on taxes or spending.

He said the NDP have already raised taxes enough recently, pointing to a hike in PST announced in last year’s budget.

“You’ve done a $500 million tax grab – that’s what the NDP did over the last two years, so maybe they’re just tired from jacking up all those taxes,” said Pallister. “Maybe this budget is their chance to rest.”