UPDATE 1-Canada's Morneau: Investors should be confident about Canada

Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:57pm EST
 
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WINNIPEG Jan 14 (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Thursday that foreign investors should be confident about the country, noting that the government has room to invest to stimulate the economy.

"We believe that outside investors should be confident about Canada," Morneau told reporters in response to a question about the Canadian dollar, which has hit a 12-year low.

"We have the room to make some significant investments to stimulate our economy and create a more productive Canada over the long term."

The Liberals came to power last October after promising to run deficits of up to C$10 billion ($6.96 billion) a year to stimulate the economy through infrastructure spending. Sources familiar with the party's plans told Reuters the government looked certain to break that threshold this year.

Morneau has been traveling across Canada this week for pre-budget consultations. His trip has coincided with a drop in oil prices that has hit the Canadian dollar and raised concerns about the prospects for the economy not long after it emerged from a mild recession.

Asked about the price of oil, Morneau reiterated that he was paying close attention to it, as well as to the Canadian dollar.

"In that context we know that it's doubly important to think about how we can make investments that have a positive impact on the economy," Morneau said. (Reporting by Rod Nickel; Writing by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler)