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Canada's stimulus creating political tensions
( Mar 13 2009 )

Ottawa: Canada's prime minister on Tuesday pressed the opposition to urgently ratify his economic stimulus plan, while his finance minister sparred with senators over the budget bill implementation. "Our action plan is on track," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a speech updating Canadians on the state of their economy. "In fact, the pace of its implementation is accelerating.


"We are executing our economic stimulus package to stabilize markets, provide credit, protect communities, preserve jobs, and to move forward on our longer-term plans for the economy," he said. "We are positioned to emerge from this global recession in a stronger position in the world than we have ever been. And I am confident that we will."


Harper, however, added he has become "very frustrated" by what he said are delays in the actual spending of the funds due to opposition calls for closer scrutiny of certain measures. Such logjams have arisen to varying degrees in other G20 nations, whose finance ministers and central bank governors are to meet in Horsham, Britain on Saturday for an update on the economic situation.


A senior Canadian finance department official earlier told a media briefing there had been an "unprecedented response" by G20 nations to this global economic crisis, but now their plans must be fully implemented.


Canada is among the last of the G20 to present its stimulus plan.


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