Victoria, September 10, 2009
2009-084

Archived - Government Lays Out Plan to Solidify Recovery in the Short Term, Stay the Course on Balanced Budgets for the Long Term

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VICTORIA, B.C. – The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today laid out a plan for the government to continue to implement Canada's Economic Action Plan and solidify a recovery in the Canadian economy, along with a commitment to stay the course on eliminating the deficit once the recovery is assured.

"Canada entered the global recession in a strong position, with the best fiscal situation of any country in the G7," said Minister Flaherty. "We are weathering the storm better than most countries. The IMF fully expects Canada to have the smallest economic contraction in the G7 this year, and one of the fastest-growing economies next year."

"This strong position allowed our government to launch Canada's Economic Action Plan, which is providing the largest fiscal stimulus in the G7 as a proportion of our economy, and among the largest in the G20," said Minister Flaherty. "While there are encouraging signs that the plan is working and a recovery is beginning, it remains fragile. Now is not the time for complacency or political games."

Minister Flaherty said that implementation of Canada's Economic Action Plan remains the government's top priority, to ensure that a recovery has fully taken hold and is sustainable. "Our government will not shift focus away from implementing the Economic Action Plan. This is consistent with the international consensus that it is far too early, and the recovery still too fragile, for governments to begin withdrawing essential stimulus from the global economy."

Minister Flaherty indicated that a new survey of private sector forecasters shows that over the next few years, the recovery will be more modest than previous projections, and will mean only moderate improvements in economic growth and government revenues. "We are staying the course in returning to balanced budgets," said Minister Flaherty. "When the time is right—when our Economic Action Plan has been implemented, our recovery is entrenched, and the private sector forecasts become more certain—we will determine the amount of restraint in the growth of program spending that will be required to eliminate the deficit."

"Our government will not raise taxes, and we will protect growth in major spending programs that go to individuals and families," said Minister Flaherty. "We will also protect growth in transfers to other levels of government so they can fund essential services."

"Once the recovery is certain, Canadians expect their government to return to balanced budgets," said Minister Flaherty. "It will require leadership and sustained discipline. Our government is prepared to meet that test of leadership."

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For further information, media may contact:

Chisholm Pothier
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

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