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Jim Flaherty's speech - Sept. 21, 2010

Jim Flaherty's speech - Sept. 21, 2010

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Published by The Globe and Mail
Finance Minister's remarks to the Canadian Club of Ottawa
Finance Minister's remarks to the Canadian Club of Ottawa

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: The Globe and Mail on Sep 21, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Thank you very much for the invitation to be with you today. It’s a pleasure to addressthis well informed and distinguished group of opinion leaders.Merci de m’avoir invité à me joindre à vous aujourd’hui. Je suis très heureux de prendrela parole devant un tel groupe d’éminents leaders d’opinion.The fall session of Parliament has just started.It’s a good time for some serious, frank talk.We have some important choices to make.Choices that have consequences.
An extraordinary time
We’ve gone through an extraordinary time the past two years.A synchronized recession, the deepest since the Depression.A global storm which, though it has eased up, has not yet passed.We’ve all been affected.Business owners working hard to avoid layoffs.Families working hard to make ends meet.Individual Canadians looking for work in what was initially a bleak employmentlandscape.That’s why our Government’s main focus has been – and will continue to be – theeconomy.To keep Canadians working, to create good new jobs, and to secure our recovery.Through the G-7 and especially the G-20, the world has pulled together.And from the beginning, the world has looked to Canada – first in admiration,increasingly for guidance and leadership.We’re punching above our weight – far above our weight.And now the heavyweights are coming to us for lessons.
Proud to be a Canadian
In my travels, at international meetings, I hear itagain and again.Leaders of the world, looking at Canada and our economy with envy.Saying “We want to be a Canadian.”Every time I hear it, I think “ what a time to be Canadian.”Quand je suis en voyage et quand j’assiste à des réunions internationales, j’entends trèssouvent le même message.Les leaders du monde sont envieux du Canada et de son économie.Ils disent qu’ils aimeraient être canadiens.Et chaque fois, je me répète qu’il est bon d’être canadien de nos jours.You’re familiar with the reasons Canada stands out – now, more than ever.Low, increasingly low taxes.The lowest debt burden of the major advanced economies – by far.Rock-solid banks.A major – and effective – stimulus program.Almost 430,000 new jobs since July 2009 – more than were lost during the recession.And a balanced budget on the horizon.These are huge accomplishments.Accomplishments that Opposition politicians choose to ignore.Opposition politicians who talk down our economy for political gain at everyopportunity.To them I say: rise above petty politics.2
At an uncertain time, join us in working to strengthen Canada and promote that strengtharound the world.Do your job as critics. Criticize this government as you need to. But don’t tear down our country for short-term political gain to do it.We all have the right to celebrate our performance during the deepest economic crisissince the Great Depression and the world leading strengths of our economy..But even more, we have the responsibility to appreciate.To appreciate that Canada’s advantages are rare and valuable.That they are not an accident.And they are not guaranteed.They are the result of the choices we have made.And they depend on the choices we will make.
Our top priority
Tax rates, deficit projections, debt-to-GDP, jobs numbers – they’re impressive, butabstract.Where they matter is in the lives of Canadians – our families, our businesses, our communities.Our quality of life, the future of our children and grandchildren.That’s what’s at stake.That’s what our government is focused on.That’s what will remain our top priority.We cannot and must not be complacent.Yes, Canada has outperformed during the global recession.But still too many Canadians are looking for work.For every one of them, a job isn’t just about putting food on the table.3

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