Canada does not have banking crisis: Harper

Mon Oct 6, 2008 9:16am EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Monday that the Canadian banking sector is not in crisis and vowed to help other countries cope with their financial difficulties.

The prime minister, in an election stop near Ottawa, called for a coordinated effort to tackle the slumping global economy.

"The main concern is the tightening of credit around the world," he told reporters in Nepean, Quebec.

"Our main advice is to encourage co-ordinated action and to encourage actions that will stabilize the situation without creating a great deal of moral hazard for taxpayers."

Harper also said he is "fundamentally optimistic" for the Canadian economy.

A Bank of Nova Scotia report on Monday forecast a Canadian recession that could last well into 2009.

($1=$1.09 Canadian)

(Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Frank McGurty)

<p>Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) talks with Liberal Party Leader Stephane Dion during the English leaders' debate in Ottawa, October 2, 2008. REUTERS/Tom Hanson/Pool</p>