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Canada leading the economic recovery of G20 nations: Finley

OTTAWA — Canada is “clearly” leading the G20 out of the recession, Labour Minister Diane Finley told QMI Agency.

Finley was in Washington, D.C., this week to meet with her counterparts in the other G20 countries to discuss the strength of their respective workforces and how to combat high levels of unemployment, which could hinder the global economic recovery.

Canada’s unemployment rate has remained steady at 8.2%, but the situation is far worse in other countries.

In 2009, the global economy shed 34 million jobs, hitting a record high 212 million unemployed.

The first-ever two-day meeting was a setup for the G20 leaders summit in Toronto this June when the economic recovery will be discussed.

Finley said the labour ministers all agreed education and skills training strategies are key to strengthening the labour force.

Canada, she said, was the marvel of them all.

“It was very evident in our discussions that as a result of the quick action undertaken by our government ... Canada is clearly leading the G20 out of the recession,” Finley said from Washington. “It really is clear that our plan is working and we’ve become a marvellous success for the G20 nations.”

Finley said the next step for Canada is to focus on better matching available skills to employers’ needs.

“We all need that. People who are looking for jobs need it, employers need it, and we need it as a country,” she said.

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