“International Praise for Finance Minister Flaherty and Canada’s Economic Policies”
Further confirmation that Canada’s economic policies and fiscal management are admired around the world came this week as our very own Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, received international recognition as “Finance Minister of the Year”.
Minister Flaherty accepted the award, as selected by the highly-regarded Euromoney magazine, on behalf of the Government of Canada at the G7 Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Istanbul.
No matter what your political stripe, the fact that Canada has received yet another international acknowledgement for sound fiscal management is a source of reassurance … and pride!
Upon taking office in 2006, our Conservative Government began laying the groundwork necessary to strengthen Canada’s fiscal footing by making unprecedented payments on the nation’s debt and by cutting taxes.
These measures helped to keep us on our feet when the unavoidable shockwave of the global economic recession hit.
In fact, we had the best fiscal position in the G7 going into the current crisis, with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio. Then our Economic Action Plan kicked in with a $61-billion stimulus plan that’s creating and protecting jobs and safeguarding Canadians throughout the downturn. The international accolades came early.
In May 2009, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said, “Canada is better positioned than many countries to weather the crisis. It entered the crisis from a position of strength, reflecting a track record of strong policy management that has supported underlying macroeconomic and financial stability.”
The World Economic Forum continues to confirm that Canada is home to the world’s soundest banking system. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum ranked Canada’s economic, fiscal and financial strengths ninth in the world. This represents a big jump from Canada’s position at 14 th on this list under the previous Liberal government (2005-06) Most recently the IMF forecast that among G7 countries, Canada will experience the second lowest economic contraction in 2009 and will enjoy the greatest growth in 2010.
As I mentioned last month, at the G20 Finance Ministers meeting, other Western political leaders gushed with praise and envy for Canada’s economic stability.
France’s Finance Minister said the Canadian situation was inspiring and that “there were some people who said, ‘I want to be Canadian’”.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary General said, “Effectively, Canada will be one of the first to come out of the recession.”
And for something to make you smile over your morning coffee, Tim Hortons Inc. announced that it plans to shift its base of operations from the United States to Canada because of our lower taxes.
Our nation has become a destination of choice for new investment, growth and job creation.
Canada’s fiscal situation is still fragile. We have so much more to do to. However, it’s comforting to see that signs of recovery are all around us … and to savour that Canada is earning praise on the world stage.
Oh, and speaking of international award-winning performances, check out the fifth most watched video worldwide this past Monday as our Prime Minister sang and played the piano with world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Click Here.