OTTAWA/TORONTO - So far, Canada hasn’t blinked over refusing to contribute further funding to the International Monetary Fund meant to deal with the European debt crisis.
Meanwhile, leaders are scheduled to attend a weekend meeting of global finance chiefs where there is sure to be continuing fallout from Europeans and other international negotiators.
The IMF has been pressing Canada and other counties for increased resources that would be used to protect the world economy from Europe's ongoing debt crisis.
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Europe needed to "step up to the plate much more than they have,” and that Europeans' own economic behaviors, not world financial rescues, were key to any European recovery.
"Solving the issues in Europe is not about a firewall, it's about decisions that will be taken in Europe over a sustained period of time; and it's European actions that will be decisive here as opposed to outside money," said Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney at a news conference ahead of meetings in Washington of the Group of 20 leading economies and the International Monetary Fund.
Carney said, "The IMF has a view but there's not a consensus within the G20 at this stage."
According to news reports, a senior Canadian finance official said the country is not prepared to form a bilateral committee that would increase IMF resources. Instead, Canadian officials would only commit to discussing the issue with counterparts.
Also, there was no broader consensus from Ottawa regarding Canadian support for a wider G20 commitment to bolster IMF resources if not all members participated.
The Obama administration expressed support for the IMF funding idea through U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s office on Wednesday but the administration does not have the support of Congress for contributing and there is little or no hope of getting Congressional approval for such spending in an election year during which the administration was unable to slow ominous U.S. deficit spending.
A unnamed Canadian official reportedly said the IMF's current $400 billion was sufficient to deal with immediate needs but did not elaborate on the amount of funding believed necessary to stabilize the global economy.