G20 ministers pay tribute to Flaherty

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WASHINGTON - The death of longtime former finance minister Jim Flaherty has cast a shadow over a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central-bank heads in Washington.

At his very first meeting addressing the group today, Finance Minister Joe Oliver was invited to say a few words about a predecessor who was a fixture at the gatherings.

Oliver told his peers how Flaherty helped him with his entry into politics, and called him one of the guiding forces that helped the world through the financial crisis.

The Bank of England's Mark Carney said he'd worked with Flaherty for a decade, and watched as he and his peers helped revitalize the G20 as an institution.

In a rare move, the beginning of a dinner for the ministers was opened to international media so they could record the tributes.

Flaherty's sudden passing occurred just as the world of financial governance began its spring gathering in the U.S. capital.

Flaherty was the longest-serving finance minister in the G-7 when he stepped down last month.

The dinner began with a tribute from Australia's finance minister, who said Flaherty was a good man who deserved a longer and well-deserved retirement.

France's finance minister also paid tribute to his late Canadian colleague during a news conference.

Organizations: Bank of England

Geographic location: WASHINGTON, U.S., Australia France

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