Experience is not only the best teacher, it the best way to convince others that you know what you are talking about.
This was the predominant theme presented by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in a speech to the International Insurance Society on Tuesday.
According to Flaherty, Canada’s recent experiences and relative skill in having escaped the recent global financial crisis reasonably unscathed, relative to other countries, gives Canada more of an authoritative voice on the world’s stage.
“Our country has demonstrated the rewards of prudence, discipline and forward thinking,” Minister Flaherty told the society’s 47th Annual Seminar, hosted by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. “In Canada, we did not suffer a single bank or federally regulated insurance company bailout or failure. Our country’s financial institutions stood solid and steadfast, based on sound risk management and supported by a very effective regulatory and supervisory framework.”
Minister Flaherty attributed the strong fundamentals in the Canadian banking system as major contributors to the overall financial health of the country when many others were simply falling apart, noting that the Canadian Banking system has been ranked the soundest in the world by the World Economic Forum, for three years in a row.
Other factors he listed include : “A strong regulatory framework, centred on robust capital and liquidity standards; effective supervision, with financial institutions supervised on a consolidated basis and clear responsibilities and powers for the Bank of Canada, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, and all pillars of the Canadian financial system and a strong housing market based on prudent lending standards, recourse by lenders to a borrower’s other assets, and mortgage interest that is not tax-deductible.”
Because of all of this, Flaherty says that Canada is playing an increasingly significant role on the world stage- in areas like chairing the Financial Stability Board’s Standing Committee on Standards Implementation, and hosting a G-20 summit, which set the stage for a collective agreement for a number of financial sector reforms.
“The global recovery remains fragile, and as developments in Europe illustrate, significant financial risks remain,” said Minister Flaherty. “The world has had to take some painful and extraordinary measures to repair the system that connects all of us. Canada is living proof that you can indeed find opportunity in an uncertain world—if you prepare for hard times, act decisively when they darken your doorstep, and never allow a temporary crisis to become a long-term problem.”