RMP officers guard Canada's parliament building in Ottawa. (Reuters)
Royal Mounted Police officers guard Canada's parliament building in OttawaReuters

Canada's government has delivered a budget that promised a slim surplus despite the oil price crash, while offering goodies to seniors and small businesses and boosting security spending.

As it faces an election this year, the government reported its first surplus in eight years, accomplished mainly by selling of assets including General Motors shares.

"This budget is written in black ink," Finance Minister Joe Oliver told Parliament. It is certain to pass because of the Conservatives' parliamentary majority.

The Conservatives, seeking a fourth straight election win in October, portray themselves as strong economic managers.

Oliver pledged more for the military and security agencies, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to help combat terror threats. But much of the planned spending will be deferred.

"When there's a limit imposed by a spectacular fall in the price of oil, you can't do everything. That's the reality. You have to make choices," Oliver said.