OTTAWA — For the second year in a row, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has decided against a face-to-face summer meeting with his provincial counterparts.
Instead, Ottawa has convened a conference call at noon today when Flaherty will brief the provincial and territorial ministers on the state of the global economy.
A government official says Flaherty will tell his counterparts he is encouraged by recent events in Europe to deal with the banking crisis, but that European leaders must follow through on the initiative.
And he plans to urge the provincial ministers to stay the course on plans to balance their budgets in the near term to ensure that Canada’s fiscal situation remains sound.
In the past, finance ministers have met to discuss a broad range of issues twice annually, once in the summer and once in December.
But last year’s June expected face-to-face meeting failed to materialize despite the wishes of some provincial ministers who wanted to press the issue of an expanded Canada Pension Plan. And last December, a gathering in Victoria ended on a contentious note after Ottawa imposed a new health funding formula against the objections of many provinces.