Cornwall - Nov. 14, 2011 - November 7 in Calgary Finance Minister Jim Flaherty gave all Canadians an update on the state of the Canadian Economy. The message the Finance Minister gave Canadians was prudent and pragmatic.
"Canada is holding its own and doing better than most countries, but we cannot become complacent," he said.
Minister Flaherty meets regularly with 40 of Canada's leading economists. He seeks their input every few months to get their advice and suggestions. This process has worked extremely well during the past few years. It has proven to be invaluable. It has allowed our government to be proactive rather than reactive in dealing with economic challenges within our country, as well as, external pressures due to problems other countries have experienced.
A recent and very timely example is the current economic climate we are experiencing here in Canada. After weathering the worst global recession in over 70 years it appeared that Canada was on the road to a full and fairly robust economic recovery. That is until the situation in Europe reared its ugly head. Because Canada is a trading nation and 85% of what we produce here we sell to foreign countries, their economic challenges can have a huge affect on our economy. Difficulties in Europe and a very lethargic American economy have caused our economy to slow down.
Minister Flaherty has taken these realities into consideration in his economic update. Realizing small and medium sized businesses create jobs, he has reduced a planned increase to EI premiums by 50%. He has also extended the Worksharing EI program to 16 weeks allowing employers to reduce employee working hours. The Worksharing program allows employees to collect EI benefits for a brief period of time while working reduced hours. This program was hugely successful during the recession.
Minister Flaherty in his usual direct way made it very clear that Canada is not out of its economic woes just yet. He reiterated our governments focus is the economy and jobs. He committed to be prudent and flexible. I believe that is the type of leadership our country needs and deserves during these uncertain times.
Member of Parliament
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