Bloomberg News

Canada’s Flaherty Says G-20 Not Planning Emergency Measures

October 04, 2011

(Updates with Flaherty comments in third paragraph.)

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the Group of 20 countries aren’t preparing emergency measures to deal with a European debt crisis that can be tackled internally.

Flaherty, speaking to reporters in Ottawa, said European countries need to get ahead of financial markets with a large enough rescue fund for debt-saddled governments.

“We have advocated for flexibility with respect to the size of the facility that the eurozone has agreed to create, and we think that’s important in order to have the eurozone in a position where it can overwhelm the situation,” Flaherty said.

Flaherty today introduced legislation to implement parts of his 2011 budget that was approved by Parliament in June, including measures that will give small businesses tax credits for new hiring. The main opposition New Democratic Party has called on Flaherty to take more steps to generate jobs.

Flaherty has said the government’s fiscal projections for the current year remain consistent with forecasts even amid indications the economy has slowed, pledging not to veer from plans to balance Canada’s federal budget by 2014. The government has benefited from higher revenue from personal income taxes and a job market that is driving up employment insurance premium receipts and reducing benefit payouts.

Flaherty said he expects the Canadian economy will grow modestly, averting a recession.

“The lesson of Greece and some other countries in Europe is that accumulating deficits and creating a large public debt over time is the worst thing you can do to the economy and the people of that country,” Flaherty said. “We have no intention of going in that direction.”

Flaherty said it would take a “serious economic decline” to trigger a change in Canadian fiscal policy.

“We have not seen that to date,” Flaherty said.

--Editors: Paul Badertscher, Carlos Torres

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Mayeda in Ottawa at amayeda@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net


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