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Canada and China after the Global Financial Crisis

Speech to the Canada-China Business Forum

This week marks the first anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the unofficial starting date of a global financial crisis unlike any we have seen in a generation. As we welcome the prospect of the Canadian economy emerging from recession, perhaps sooner than expected, the biggest danger we face is to assume that the world will be more or less the same as it was before the economic downturn. The temptation to be complacent is exacerbated by self-congratulatory pronouncements about Canada’s relatively strong performance compared to other G8 members and the fact that our financial institutions were well supervised and therefore did not face the kind of meltdown that was seen south of the border. It is in some respects inconceivable that Canadians could believe that the world has not changed. But habit, wishful thinking, narrow-mindedness and vested interests have a powerful way of combining to resist change. The unwillingness of our political and business elites to show leadership further compounds the problem. Read more