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Bank of Canada Governor speaks during a news conference with Canada's Finance Minister Flaherty in Ottawa (Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Bank of Canada Governor speaks during a news conference with Canada's Finance Minister Flaherty in Ottawa (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Eight leaders on Jim Flaherty's legacy as finance minister Add to ...

Jim Flaherty stepped down as Canada's finance minister after eight years in the position on March 18, just weeks before his sudden death on Thursday. Here are eight of the best quotes from international and Canadian business leaders who worked with him.

Chris Young/CP

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“Jim will be sorely missed, not only by his many friends on both sides of the House, I know particularly his friends in this Caucus among whom he was held unanimously in great, a combination of great respect and affection.

But he will also be missed by the countless thousands of Canadians that he devoted himself to and whom he helped during his long and successful career in public life.

The days ahead will provide more suitable occasions for all of us to reflect on the legacy of Jim’s life in public service and for me to talk about the special relationship that I shared with Jim.

But for now, to he and all of his loved ones, you are in our thoughts and prayers."

On the day of Mr. Flaherty's retirement, Mr. Harper said:

"Canada has benefited immensely from Minister Flaherty's contributions as one of the longest serving Finance Ministers in our history. Since 2006, he has been a steady hand, ably guiding Canada through the most challenging economic times since the Great Depression and gaining the country a solid global reputation for economic management.

 We emerged from the crisis in a position of strength. Today we lead the G-7 in job creation, Canada is recognized as one of the best places in the world to do business, and we are fulfilling our commitment to keep taxes low. And, thanks largely to Minister Flaherty, our Government will balance the budget by 2015, as we promised to do."

Fred Chartrand/CP

Mark Carney, former Bank of Canada governor

“From his sound management of the Canadian economy to his invaluable contributions to international policy making, Jim Flaherty has exhibited the very best of Canadian virtues in service to our country.

Jim Flaherty played a central role when the G20 came of age in Washington in 2008, and when it forged its greatest contributions in London 2009 and Toronto 2010. He was a true believer in multilateralism, leading, urging, cajoling the members around the table to pursue policies that would promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth for all.

He was a man of principle who believed in fixing banks when they were broken, sound money and balanced budgets.

I had the privilege of working with Jim Flaherty for the better part of eight years. He was an enormous influence on global policy and on me personally. I know many colleagues will feel his loss and I will miss him tremendously.

Il a donné tout pour son pays et l’économie mondiale. Un homme de principe qui aimait rire et débattre. Il a gagné plus souvent qu’il a perdu et il a donné beaucoup plus qu’il a reçu.”

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Henry Paulson, former U.S. Treasury Secretary

"I am deeply saddened to hear of Jim Flaherty's passing.  Jim was a true partner during the financial crisis.  He was a masterful leader, who commanded the respect of his peers.  During some of the darkest days of the global economy, Canada was fortunate to have him as Finance Minister and we in America, and the rest of the world, benefited from his strong, calm leadership."

Gary Cameron/Reuters

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund

“Jim Flaherty was a dear friend and I am profoundly saddened to learn of his passing. I would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family. I will miss him.

Jim was a highly effective Finance Minister, who devoted himself to improving Canada’s economy and the well-being of its people. He was also a principled and forthright colleague in international fora such as the G-20 and the International Monetary and Financial Committee. I speak for the whole international community represented by the IMF membership when I say that his passing is a great loss.”

Jose Luis Magana/AP

Jacob Lew, U.S. Treasury Secretary

“For eight years, Jim Flaherty served the people of Canada as the country’s finance minister.  He was admired and respected by his fellow citizens and leaders throughout the world.  Known for his drive and hard work, Jim was instrumental in helping Canada navigate the global financial crisis.  He was also a devoted advocate for sound fiscal policy and making sure workers had the chance to retire with dignity.  I send my thoughts and prayers to the people of Canada and Jim’s wife, sons, and the entire Flaherty family.” 

Chris Young/CP

Tom Kloet, TMX Group chief executive officer

“Jim Flaherty has been an outstanding Finance Minister for this country. He gets it, he understands how the marketplace operates and he is so committed.” 

- Told to The Globe on the day of Mr. Flaherty's retirement on March 18. 

Craig Alexander, chief economist of Toronto-Dominion Bank

“[Flaherty's moves to cool the housing market] are the sort of policies that take political courage." 

- Told to The Globe on the day of Mr. Flaherty's retirement on March 18. 

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Douglas Porter, BMO Nesbitt Burns chief economist

 “Whoever steps into the role, they don’t have to be a carbon copy of Mr. Flaherty – nobody could be. But in terms of the broad policy thrust I think [his actions were] appropriate from a policy perspective, and most people would like to see that continue.

  "He was at the tiller during what was arguably the most tumultuous period for the Canadian economy in the last 50 years, and helped guide the country through in relatively good shape.”

- Told to The Globe on the day of Mr. Flaherty's retirement on March 18.


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