What Did the IMF Say?
Under the headline “IMF Admonishes Canada,” theÂ Financial Post reported on Wednesday:
The IMF added its voice yesterday to the growing chorus of observers urging Canada to undertake a 21st-century overhaul of its financial system, saying it should create a single securities regulator, open its banking system to foreign competition and mergers and tear down interprovincial trade barriers.
. . .
Rodrigo de Ratoâ€™s three suggestions to improve Canadaâ€™s financial systems: 1.Create a single securities regulator 2.Open the banking system to more foreign competition 3. Tear down interprovincial trade barriers
I cannot find any mention of “interprovincial trade barriers” in the published text of Rodrigo de Ratoâ€™s speech, nor does the National Post outline what he said on this topic. I can think of two possible explanations:
1. Mr. Rato said something that was not in his written text, in which case it would be interesting to know what it was.
2. The Harper government and others have been so successful in conflating the sensible notion of a national securities regulator with the hazy rhetoric about “interprovincial trade barriers” that a speechÂ on the formerÂ prompts reporters to reflexively mention the latter.
UPDATE (June 25): TheÂ Financial Post has run another story (FP2 in todayâ€™s paper) containing the following statement:
Visiting Canada last week, Rodrigo de Rato said Canada should create a single securities regulator, open its banking system to foreign competition and mergers and dissolve interprovincial trade barriers.
All of the storyâ€™s quotes relate to the first two topics. Again, there are no specifics on “interprovincial trade barriers” or what Mr. Rato said about them.
UPDATE (June 28): I have received confirmation that Mr. Rato called for the elimination of “inter-provincial trade barriers,” without discussing any particular barriers, in response to a question following his speech. My hat goes off to the Financial Post for accurate reporting, but it would be nice if journalists asked for some specific examples of “inter-provincial barriers”.