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Flaherty says Canadian economy still 'envy' of world despite shocks to markets

TORONTO, Ont. – Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says a big drop on stock markets and the fall of the loonie show how important it is for European leaders to get their financial houses in order and restore faith in the global economy.

Flaherty said Canada will press world leaders at a G20 finance ministers’ meeting this weekend to encourage countries like Greece to deal decisively with their large deficits.

His remarks come as the Toronto stock market is down more than three per cent, commodity prices plunging after yet another gloomy outlook on the global economy, this time from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The loonie is also taking a haircut, falling 2.25 cents to 97.16 cents (U.S.), as investors fearing volatility flock to the perceived safe haven of U.S. Treasury bonds.

But Flaherty also said Canadians are comparatively fortunate due to a financial sector stronger than most in the world, one of the soundest banking systems in the world and strong fiscal fundamentals.

He said that while global economic shocks are definitely being felt here, Canada is stable and solid and remains the envy of many other countries.