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Minister of Finance Stresses the Collective Need to Tackle Fiscal Challenges in New York Visit

OTTAWA, Ontario, June 15, 2011 — The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, highlighted both Canada’s growing economic and fiscal advantages and the global perils of putting off the tough decisions necessary to get fiscal houses in order during a visit to New York City today.

“In good times or bad, Canada has taken the steps necessary to handle whatever challenges come our way,” Minister Flaherty said in a speech to the Canadian Association of New York. “In the last election, Canadians gave us a strong mandate. With last week’s budget our economic focus is now shifting, from protecting jobs and output to creating the right conditions for more long-term jobs and stronger economic growth, all the while steadily eliminating the deficit and returning to surplus. The need to balance our books is a lesson we must all heed.”

In his speech, the Minister highlighted the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan and its measures to keep taxes low, encourage businesses to hire and expand, help Canadians save for retirement and return to budget balance by 2014–15, one year earlier than previously planned. The 2011 budget builds on the Government’s past efforts to create the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the Group of Seven (G-7) and make Canada the first tariff-free zone for industrial manufacturers in the G-20. Minister Flaherty also noted that the federal debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio is projected to broadly return to its pre-recession level, and that Canada is expected to be one of only two G-7 nations to return to budget balance by 2016.

In addition to describing Canada’s own deficit-fighting efforts, Minister Flaherty urged American political leaders to confront their own fiscal challenges in the midst of a global recovery that remains fragile. “We will never be prepared for the next financial crisis if we’re still grappling with the consequences of the last one,” he said. “It’s essential that we all have a clear strategy in place to ensure markets continue to have confidence in our fiscal plans—and there is no time to waste in doing so. Rising up to this global challenge would be just the latest example of actions our two nations have taken to ensure a brighter collective future.”

In addition to his speech, Minister Flaherty met with business leaders and will attend an official dinner hosted by John Prato, Canada’s Consul General in New York. Today’s visit follows the Minister’s trip to Washington, D.C. last month, when he discussed economic and fiscal policies with such high-ranking officials as Representative Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, and Representative Spencer Bachus, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

News source: Department of Finance


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