British Columbia

Carole James reads to kids rather than showing off new shoes ahead of provincial budget

Finance Minister Carole James visits a Victoria daycare today as part of the build-up to the upcoming provincial budget.

B.C.'s finance minister visited a daycare on Monday morning

B.C. finance minister Carole James read "Pete the Cat" to Victoria children on Monday morning. (Carole James/Twitter)

Finance Minister Carole James visited a Victoria daycare on Monday as part of the build-up to the upcoming provincial budget, where she deviated from tradition by reading a children's book rather than buying a new pair of shoes.

It's a quirky Canadian tradition for finance ministers to sport new shoes while delivering a budget and often display them the day before as a hint to the budget's contents.

Mike de Jong, B.C.'s finance minister under the former Liberal government, resoled his black dress shoes in 2015 rather than buying new ones. In 2013, de Jong wore hockey skates, while another former finance minister, Colin Hansen, once wore running shoes.

In 2006, then finance minister Carole Taylor wore a $600 pair of new Gucci pumps, saying she was investing for the long term. The following year she chose resoled red pumps. 

Last week's throne speech pledged to create more childcare spaces and convert unlicensed childcare facilities to regulated ones, but didn't reveal how many spaces might be added or how much the initiative might cost.

The provincial throne speech also made it clear the B.C. New Democratic Party government is aiming to create more affordable housing for families, students and seniors.

The NDP's first budget in more than a decade-and-a-half will be introduced in the legislature tomorrow afternoon.

With CBC files.