Steve: Of course, John Michael, this wouldn't be an #onpoli newsletter if we didn't get a bit nerdy here and point out this isn't the first time that a provincial budget has had to be postponed or altered. Some examples come immediately to mind. When Mike Harris’s Progressive Conservatives got elected in 1995, they essentially threw out all the financial plans that Bob Rae’s NDP government had introduced only a matter of weeks earlier. Harris was sworn in the last week of June, and three weeks later, finance minister Ernie Eves brought in an “instant budget” that cut spending by more than $2 billion. That was a pretty quick turnaround, as Finance Minister Rod Phillips’s financial statement on Wednesday will be. Then, when Ernie Eves was premier in 2003, he and his finance minister, Janet Ecker, essentially had to chuck everything they'd planned because SARS hit and all their financial projections were rendered immediately out of date. Governments obviously have to learn how to pivot quickly during urgent times. So we've been here before.
John Michael: As you say, there’s some precedent for this. But some stuff is going to be all new. For starters, reporters won’t be in a traditional “lock-up” like we’ve done in previous budgets. Understandably, nobody wants a few dozen reporters and high-ranking public servants locked in a poorly-ventilated room at this moment in time. We don’t know exactly what the government is going to do to get the budget into our hands, nor do we know as I write this how much warning we’ll have, but we do know that Rod Phillips is scheduled to be standing up in the legislature sometime shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, so people should keep their eyes on TVO.org and, perhaps, their podcast feeds.