At first glance, the title appears to be somewhat over the top, but consider the reaction when Jim Flaherty's death was announced yesterday:
- proceedings immediately halted in both houses of the Parliament of Canada,
- politicians on all sides welled up in tears, paying tribute to him,
- a meeting of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors was suspended, in order for all present to publicly pay their respects,
- among comments internationally was the observation that his views were always actively sought in world meetings!
- making massive investments in infrastructure, ,as well as shoring up GM's and Chrysler's Canadian operations (through huge bumps in deficit spending),
- eliminating the hollowing-out of tax revenues through the abuse of income trusts,
- implementing a two-point reduction in the GST,
- tightening borrowing requirements for household mortgages,
- selecting, in a brilliant move, Mark Carney to head the Bank of Canada (which later led to his being poached by the Bank of England),
- giving investors greater flexibility through the introduction of Tax-Free Savings Accounts, and
- introducing the Registered Disability Savings Plan for helping the more vulnerable members of society.
There are missed opportunities to note:
- his initiative to introduce a national securities regulator was shot down for constitutional reasons, but he still kept working on setting up an alternative that would work (for which we should stayed tuned),
- the recession resulted in a massive hollowing-out of Canada's manufacturing capacity and an over-dependence on resource industries, which is not a long-term recipe for economic stability (but that is a failure of corporate Canada, and not of government policy),