As I was playing with the cat last night (aka: I was running around with a puff ball and she was watching from her ottoman, every so often batting an arm or piercing me with judging eyes) I happened to glance up at the news program my roommate was watching and saw the Finance Minister, Jim…something…giving a press conference IN A SHOE STORE. I quipped that in Canada our paparazzi have nothing better to do but follow MPs around, and my roommate corrected me and said that Finance Ministers buying new shoes on budget day is a tradition.
So I Googled!
According to the Government of Canada’s website, no one knows where the tradition came from. It’s not a British thing, it’s not an Olden-Day-Canada thing…it’s just kind’ve something that started happening around the 1950s (so far as they can tell). Not every Finance Minister has done it, and the ones that have sometimes wear shoes that were gifted to them, resoled or, as was the case a few years ago, bought new skates for his son (some kind of “this budget represents the family” thing).
So there we have it. A weird tradition that no one really understands but makes for great photo ops. WTG Canada!