Canada blames US financial woes on ‘irresponsible’ state policies

OTTAWA, October 3, 2008 (AFP) – Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday blamed current US financial woes and its worldwide fallout on “irresponsible” policies.

“The economic and financial mess in the US is disastrous and the policies have been irresponsible,” Harper said during a televised political debate ahead of an October 14 vote.

His comments come one day after the US Senate approved a 700-billion-dollar Wall Street rescue package designed to stem the financial crisis. The bill face a similar vote in the House of Representatives Friday.

“Obviously, economic uncertainty is the big question of the election,” Harper said. “Canadians are worried about the volatility in markets. And what leaders have to do is have a plan and not panic.”

The prime minister said Canada has not followed the same policies as the United States, thus resulting in a federal budget surplus, debt repayments and a stronger mortgage and housing sector.

“We took actions early to ensure we had … good regulation of our financial institutions and didn’t have the sub-prime crisis and we’re not bailing out big companies in Canada,” he said.

Harper’s rivals accuse