Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Charest 'Preoccupied' By U.S. Crisis But Insists Quebec Situation Solid


Jean Charest admits he's following the financial crisis in the United States closely but the Quebec premier insists Canada is in better shape financially than its southern neighbour.

"I don't have to tell you to what point we are all preoccupied by the events which are happening south of us," he said in a speech Tuesday to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations.

"We're following that almost hour by hour."

But Charest said he wanted to reiterate that the situation in Canada is very different than in the United States.

"Our financial institutions are solid. We haven't had the period of inflation, the bubble in the residential sector which the Americans experienced, which created this environment," he added.

Charest noted there are also political differences when it comes to dealing with a crisis.

"Our political system in Quebec and Canada is better adapted to deal with an emergency when we have to do something short term which is tough and unpopular," he said.

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