What Did the IMF Say?

Under the headline “IMF Admonishes Canada,” the 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 Rato’s three suggestions to improve Canada’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 Rato’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 speech on the former prompts reporters to reflexively mention the latter.

UPDATE (June 25): The Financial Post has run another story (FP2 in today’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 story’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”.

One comment

  • It seems that having largely destroyed one developing nation after another with its nostrums that set loose an intense race to the bottom, wrecked the agriculture and stymied industrial advance of so many, the IMF has turned its attention to successful nations. The thing that puzzles me is why did the IMF get rid of Wolfowilz. It really sounds like he was one of their own, with these ideas compounding impregnable stupidity with towering arrogance. They should get him back andc send him on a speaking tour. He can tell Vancouver all about internal trade barriers ( we have to let thieves from Texax “compete”) and farmers from Saskatchewan on how the Wheat Board is their enemy.

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