Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a U.S. interview broadcast Sunday, said while he is worried about slowing economic growth, Canada remains a bright spot among industrialized nations.
"In terms of Canada's role, we have continued and continue in forecasts to be outperforming the average, or the pack, in the industrial world, but we're obviously concerned about projections of slowing growth," he told CNBC's The Wall Street Journal Report.
When it comes to another global recession, he said, it can be prevented.
"I remain convinced that if we as leaders make the right decisions, we can continue to keep the economy growing and avoid a recession. At this point, if we were to fall into a recession, it would be strictly through, frankly, an accumulation of lack of confidence in tackling some of the big issues that are before us," Harper said.
The prime minister also talked of how Canada and the United States are economically integrated, especially when it comes to oil.
"We are the only country in the world that is a growing supplier of energy, that is a secure and democratic country and whose energy sector is based on market principles rather than strategic objectives," he said.
Harper sat down with U.S. journalist Maria Bartiromo on Friday after attending a business roundtable in New York earlier in the week. He met with CEOs as well as executives from the New York Stock Exchange to encourage investment in Canada, but also to acknowledge serious economic problems across the globe.
Carney pushes financial reform
His comments came as International Monetary Fund-World Bank meetings continued Sunday in Washington.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty — who is representing Canada along with Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney — told CBC on Saturday that Canada would weather a new recession as it did the last one, with a strong banking sector and sound fiscal position.
Carney, in turn, urged private sectors banks in a speech Sunday in Washington to keep reforming the global financial system, despite the economic downturn.
Carney told the audience that such reform is essential, even if it temporarily slows economic growth.
"The sad experience of the past few years shows that there is ample scope to improve the efficiency and resilience of the global financial system," he said. "By clarity of purpose and resolute implementation, we can do so."