OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada still faces big job losses but it is well poised to emerge quickly and strongly from recession when recovery begins, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday.
"We all know that we have a massive and growing employment problem," he told Business News Network in an interview in London. "We've seen dramatic drops in output, dramatic rises in unemployment in the last four months... We anticipate more big job losses."
However, he said the statistics for Canada were still better than for other members of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, and that the country has real underlying strengths that should enable a strong recovery.
Harper said Canada has the No. 1 financial system in the world in terms of stability.
"We have very good balance sheets. We're going to be spending a lot of money on stimulus and not jeopardizing our financial position long term in any way. We have a mixture of both advanced and commodities sectors that very few countries have," he added.
However, he said Canada cannot drive a recovery entirely on its own, which is why the collaboration at Thursday's G20 summit of leading powers was important.
Reporting by Randall Palmer, editing by Peter Galloway