Istanbul, October 6, 2009
2009-096

Archived - Canada Receives More International Kudos for Its Strong Fiscal Position: Jim Flaherty Named Finance Minister of the Year

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At a presentation in Istanbul, Turkey, following his participation in the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, the Honourable Jim Flaherty was presented Euromoney magazine's Finance Minister of the Year award for 2009. In announcing the award, Euromoney noted that Canada's strong policy response to the global economic crisis has contributed to its heightened reputation on the global stage.

In accepting the award, Minister Flaherty said there were a number of reasons Canada stood out as a role model during a difficult year. They include responsible fiscal management and effective regulation of the country's financial system, with Canadian banks once again considered the world's soundest by the World Economic Forum. Minister Flaherty noted that the G20's recently proposed international standards on capital and leverage closely resemble Canada's current practice.

As a result of sound fiscal management, the loss of jobs in Canada has been less than in the United States. For the first time in a generation, Canada's unemployment rate is a full percentage point less than the U.S. rate. Furthermore, the IMF forecasts that Canada will be among the least affected by the global downturn this year and our recovery will be one of the strongest among G7 countries in 2010.

"While it's an honour to receive this award, it's really a testament to the perseverance of Canadians themselves throughout this global economic and financial crisis," said Minister Flaherty. "It recognizes how Canadians built a sound economy and worked together to weather the global storm better than most other countries."

In accepting the award, Minister Flaherty referenced Canada's Economic Action Plan, which is among the largest fiscal stimulus packages in the world, with 90 per cent of stimulus funding committed for this fiscal year. He noted that Canada's ability to introduce such a sweeping action plan is the result of Canada's having the best fiscal position in the G7 going into the current crisis, with the lowest debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio.

"While there are encouraging signs that the plan is working and a recovery is beginning, it remains fragile. This is consistent with the international consensus that it is far too early for governments to begin withdrawing essential stimulus from the global economy," said Minister Flaherty. "Now is not the time for complacency. Our government is committed to staying on course. We remain focused on the economy and on helping Canadians."

Minister Flaherty accepted the award following the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank, and a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors. He also hosted a meeting of regional finance ministers from North and South America, and gave a speech on Canada's leading financial system at an executive luncheon hosted by Scotiabank.

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