Saturday, December 20th0.9°C
24124
23931

Business leaders describe Flaherty's economic leadership as global in scope

TORONTO - Former federal finance minister Jim Flaherty was remembered by the business community on Thursday for his steady hand and determined leadership in Canada and on the world stage through the 2008-09 financial crisis.

"He was a source of strength and financial leadership for the country during what was probably the most challenging economic period since the Great Depression," said Gord Nixon, the head of Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY).

"(Flaherty) provided great global leadership. I think he would be recognized by his peers as being not just a source of strength to Canada but a leading voice in terms of dealing with what was a global crisis."

Flaherty, 64, a father of triplet sons, died suddenly Thursday at his Ottawa home, less than a month after he retired as the Harper government's first and only finance minister. He spent eight years in the job, helping bring the economy through the banking collapse on Wall Street and the fall out from the disaster.

"My thoughts go to his wife, to the boys," International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde said in Washington, where Flaherty was a fixture at G20 and IMF meetings.

"We had a chat in Sydney, and a laugh. I would never have imagined he wouldn't be with us. He was a friend."

As finance minister, Flaherty opened the spending taps during the economic crisis, running a $56-billion deficit, bailing out the auto sector and spending freely to boost the ailing economy.

He also became a leading voice during the crisis globally and earned international recognition for his efforts.

In recent years, he returned to his fiscal conservative roots and moved to tighten spending to put the federal budget back on track to return to surplus.

Nixon said Flaherty wasn't always easy to deal with because he "didn't always see eye-to-eye" with Canadian banks, but the sector knew that he was fair.

Flaherty rankled the Canadian investment community when he backed away from a campaign pledge by taxing income trusts like corporations.

He has also took heat when he publicly chided BMO last year for lowering the its key five-year mortgage rate, warning the super-low rate could help overheat the housing market.

"There were certainly areas where we had different views but I think he was balanced in terms of his approach," Nixon said. "Jim was very much a policy person who focused on what was the right thing and what was in the best interest of the country... and that is very difficult sometimes for a politician to do because politics is politics."

The Investment Industry Association of Canada called it a "very sad day."

"There is little doubt he will go down in history as one of Canada’s most effective finance ministers," said IIAC president and CEO Ian Russell in a statement.

The Canadian Bankers Association also paid tribute to the role Flaherty played in helping Canada emerge from the 2008 economic crisis.

"In our dealings with him, we always appreciated his candour, dedication and sense of humour," said Terry Campbell, president.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23104


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14468.26+121.51
S&P CDNX676.54+11.04
DJIA17804.8026.65
Nasdaq4765.38+16.983
S&P 5002070.65+9.42
CDN Dollar0.8618+0.0001
Gold1197.20+2.50
Oil56.50+2.39
Lumber336.20-0.70
Natural Gas3.446-0.196

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12-0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.25-0.03
Cantex0.03-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.1726+0.0026
Metalex Ventures0.05-0.005
Russel Metals25.58-0.42
Copper Mountain Mining1.55-0.02
Colorado Resources0.120.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.011-0.0089
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.215-0.01

 
23744


24175

FEATURED Property
19920601908 Begbie Road
5 bedrooms 6 baths
$1,178,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


My final thoughts on real estate

This will be the last column I write on real estate. Largely because at the end of the year I will be handing in my license. After 20+ years of working in land development, resort development and rea...


Reflecting on the end of the year

The importance of the end of the year and the Christmas holidays is profound. It is a time to reconnect with family and traditions that have made us who we are. But the year-end has always been a time...


Parenthood: Estates, insurance & taxes

It is now even more important to ensure your loved ones are well looked if anything should happen to you. Here are a few topics to consider helping you prepare for some of the unexpected events that c...

_





24111


Member of BC Press Council


23546