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Finance Minister sympathizes with #OccupyWallSt protesters

Photo courtesy of Thomas Altfather Good via Wikimedia Commons

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty shares some sympathy with Occupy Wall Street protesters but reminds Canadians that Canada has a different financial environment than the U.S.

The Canadian Press has the story:

OTTAWA - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says he has some sympathy for the "Occupy Wall Street'' movement that is spawning imitators elsewhere, including Canada.

Flaherty says the demonstrations are understandable, given high unemployment rates among youth and the increased concentration of wealth among a very few.

But he says the conditions that led to the U.S. movement are mostly not present in Canada.

He says Canada has a progressive income tax system that favours the vulnerable in society, and that unlike the U.S., the government has regulated and supervised financial institutions.

An anything-goes atmosphere is believed to be largely to blame for the financial implosion that occurred in 2007 and 2008, leading to the worst global recession in six decades.

Flaherty says there is no evidence that Canada's financial institutions, or the big banks, are not acting in a responsible and prudent manner.

The minister made the comments prior to flying to France for a meeting of G20 officials on the European crisis.

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