Canadians rank Budget 2012 as the top political story of the year

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

By now, you've invariably heard what all the pundits have had to say about the top political stories of 2012 — well, now the people have spoken.

According to a new Ipsos Reid poll, conducted on behalf of Global TV and PostMedia News, the top political story of the year was the Harper government's Budget 2012.

The Tories' somewhat austere budget slashed government spending by about $5.2 billion, eliminated 19,200 jobs for the public sector and increased the age of CPP eligibility to 67.

Incidentally, it was also the launch pad of two very controversial omnibus budget implementation bills — Bill C-38 and Bill C-45 — which incited much debate and even national protests.

On budget day — March 28 — Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters that the government was just staying "on plan."

"We want to get to a balanced budget in the medium term, he said.  "To do that we have to reduce the expenditures of government."

Yahoo! Year in Review:

In his year end interview with Global News, the prime minister said that keeping the government's fiscal house in order continues to be the Tories' number one priority.

"Let’s look past the periodic crises that seem to be coming and let’s try and focus on what we can do to keep creating high-quality jobs in this country, laying the foundations for prosperity in the long term," Harper told Global anchor Dawna Friesen.

"And that's what we have been focused on. Making sure our fiscal situation remains strong, our debt levels remain low, our deficit keeps falling, our taxes stay low, investing in training, investing in technology, trying to transform government."

Here is the full list of top stories from the Ipsos Reid poll:

1. Budget 2012

2. XL foods beef recall

2. Student protests in Quebec

4. CNOOC takeover of Calgary-based oil giant Nexen

The poll was conducted on-line between December 9 and December 21 with 1,003 respondents. It has margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.