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Budget includes small-ticket items tucked among the billion-dollar ideas

Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty tables the federal budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

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Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty tables the federal budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

OTTAWA - Federal budgets usually deal in big numbers, throwing billions around, but this year's document gets down to some real microeconomics.

Many budget items allot hundreds of millions for this program or that. But some are a lot smaller.

For instance, the budget proudly announces a plan to spend $200,000 to study a plan to link Partridge Island, in Saint John harbour, to the New Brunswick mainland by a breakwater.

There's a $150,000 item to increase mentorship among women entrepreneurs.

Youngsters will get a boost from $1 million allotted over two years to Le Grand defi Pierre Lavoie to promote healthy living and physical activity for school children.

The Canadian digital media network gets $3 million over three years to create an open data institute.

A proposal to fund a DNA-based missing persons index gets $8.1 million over five years.

The budget ponies up $4.4 million over two years to pay for two new federal judges in Alberta and four more in Quebec.

Natural Resources Canada will get $11.4 million over five years to improve the earthquake monitoring system.

The budget plans to spend $279.3 billion in all.

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