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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty pointed on Wednesday to encouraging indications of growth in Canada, despite difficult economic times in Europe and elsewhere.
"There are good signs of moderate growth across the Canadian economy, including in manufacturing - for example, the auto sector in Ontario, which has shown considerable strength in 2011 and is expected to do so in 2012 again," he told reporters on a cross-country tour ahead of the annual budget.
Flaherty also said the government was still studying the lengthy December 22 Supreme Court decision that ruled that Ottawa's proposed legislation to create a national securities regulator would violate provincial rights.
"It's a lengthy decision, and we're analyzing it and then we'll decide on a way forward," he said.
"We have had a group of participating provinces and territories working with the transition team over the course of the past couple of years, so we'll have to see what the appropriate path is. I expect to be having some discussions with my provincial colleagues."
Acting on recommendations from a federal panel, the government had drafted a bill that would create a single national regulator to replace the patchwork of provincial watchdogs, and set up a group to help transition to what was going to be the new system.
Flaherty noted the top court recognized a provincial role and a federal role.
Reporting by Scott Haggett, writing by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson