Leading by Example: Canada’s Success at the G8 and G20 Summits

July 19, 2021
Ottawa Journal (July 19 – July 23, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)

This past June, Canada proudly hosted the world at the G8 and G20 Summits in Muskoka and Toronto. As the chair of these Summits, Prime Minister Stephen Harper convinced world leaders to follow Canada’s example and take historic action to better strengthen the economic recovery and to support the world’s most vulnerable.
As industrialized countries begin to recover from the global recession, Canada is in an enviable position. Groups like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have predicted Canada’s economy will perform better than any other country in the G7 both this year and next year. The Economist magazine even called Canada an “economic star.”

In fact, Canada weathered the global recession last year better than virtually every other industrialized country in the world, thanks in part to the actions our Government took before the global recession. By cutting taxes for families and seniors, reducing the GST from 7 per cent to 6 per cent to 5 per cent, and by responsibly paying down government debt, we made sure Canada was in a strong position to face the global recession head on.

As the global recession emerged, our Government’s Economic Action Plan provided extraordinary action when Canadians needed it most. We are investing in Canada’s roads, bridges, parks, public transit, wastewater facilities, and post-secondary schools while helping to create jobs for Canadian workers. With 400, 000 jobs created since July of last year and seven consecutive months of economic growth in 2010, Canadians can see that our Plan is working.

However, our Government realizes Canada’s economic recovery is still fragile. In order to help create new Canadian jobs and economic growth, it is vital for our Government to continue working with government leaders within the G20 to encourage free trade and resist protectionism.

Led by Prime Minister Harper, the G20 leaders committed to the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth as a tool moving forward. Each country has re-affirmed its commitment to complete its economic stimulus spending as planned. In Canada, our Government’s stimulus spending will wind down at the end of this year and we will focus on returning to balanced budgets.

The G20 countries have likewise committed to halving their deficits by 2013, while continuing to reduce their deficits into 2016. Recognizing that global trade and a strong financial system are drivers for global growth, we agreed to resist protectionism for another three years and took steps toward strengthening the global financial system.

During the G8, our Government continued to deliver on its international development commitments to protect the world’s most vulnerable. Prime Minister Harper worked tirelessly to encourage G8 countries to boost funding to improve the health care of mothers, infants, and children under the age of five in high-risk developing countries like Haiti, Afghanistan, and Tanzania. Canada alone will contribute $2.85 billion over the next 5 years to the $5 billion initiative while other countries and foundations have agreed to pledge the remaining funds.

Our Government is proud to host the world. We are also proud the world is looking to Canada for leadership and guidance to help secure a strong, sustainable, and balanced economic recovery while providing unprecedented support to the world’s most vulnerable people.