These meetings help us keep Members of Parliament and, through you, all Canadians informed about the Bank's views on the economy, and about the objective of monetary policy and the actions we take to achieve it.
The Canadian economy has grown faster than was projected in last April's Monetary Policy Report and the July Update, largely because of a surge in exports. It is now operating near its production capacity and continues to adjust to global economic developments.
As you know, one of the events and themes commemorated on the new $50 bank note is the Persons Case. I am especially pleased to be here tonight, helping to celebrate the 75th anniversary of that historic case, and honouring the Famous Five, who helped to enshrine the rights of all individuals, in Canada and other countries around the world, to participate on equal terms in political life.
One theme that I heard repeatedly in Washington is that 2004 is turning out to be a better year than many had thought, particularly over the first half of the year. Indeed, the IMF is now projecting global economic growth of 5 per cent in 2004, which would be a marked improvement from the 3.9 per cent rate seen in 2003.