Canadian Embassy watching cliff talks 'closely'

Gary Doer (R), Canada's ambassador to the US.



WASHINGTON, D.C. - It may be New Year's Day, but Gary Doer isn't sleeping in.

Instead, Canada's Ambassador to the United States is closely monitoring the frantic 11th-hour negotiations going on here to avert the worst impacts of the so-called fiscal cliff.

As of midnight Tuesday morning, the country had technically taken the plunge.

According to Alexandra Vachon White, deputy spokeswoman for the Canadian Embassy, Doer has been updating the Prime Minister's Office on the ever-changing developments, which Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has warned would impact Canada's economy, too.

"The Embassy is continuing to closely monitor and report on the three elements of the fiscal cliff situation," Vachon White wrote QMI Agency in an e-mail Monday. "The Ambassador and his team are working today (Monday) to report on the outcome of negotiations, as this issue directly impacts the Canadian economy."

The trifecta of fiscal cliff issues - all of which could negatively impact Canada - are deep government spending cuts, huge tax increases, and the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations.

Late Monday, even though a tentative partial deal had been worked out between Republicans and Democrats, the House of Representatives announced no votes would be held until after the deadline of New Year's Eve, meaning the country has gone over the cliff.

But with stock markets closed Tuesday, swift legislative action could minimize the impact.

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