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Envy of the world

Canada thinks it can teach the world a thing or two about dodging financial meltdowns.

Canada thinks it can teach the world a thing or two about dodging financial meltdowns.

The 20 world leaders at an economic summit in Toronto this weekend will find themselves in a country that has avoided a banking crisis where others have floundered, and whose economy grew at a 6.1 per cent annual rate in the first three months of this year. The housing market is hot and three-quarters of the 400,000 jobs lost during the recession have been recovered.

World leaders have noticed: President Barack Obama says the U.S. should take note of Canada’s bank­ing system, and Bri­tain’s treasury chief is looking to emulate the Ottawa way on cutting deficits.

The banks are stable because, in part, they’re more regulated. As the U.S. and Europe loosened regulations on their financial industries over the last 15 years, Canada refused to do so. The banks also aren’t as leveraged as their U.S. or European peers.

George Osborne, Bri­tain’s treasury chief, has vowed to follow Canada’s example on deficit reduction. “They brought together the best brains both inside and outside government to carry out a fundamental reassessment of the role of the state,” Osborne said in a speech.

 
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