Australian PM Abbott meets Harper Monday

OTTAWA – Australia’s prime minister says he hopes to get a few tips from Canada on financial management when he sits down with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa Monday.

Tony Abbott arrived in Canada yesterday for a two day visit before heading to Washington.

Abbott says Harper has been a beacon to centre-right parties around the world and he calls him “an exemplar of a contemporary, centre-right prime minister.”

Australia is embarking on a series of austerity measures to try to balance its budget and Abbott says he hopes to learn from Harper’s experience in whittling down Canada’s deficit.

Harper has said Canada is on the verge of balancing its books and Abbott calls it a significant achievement in the face of a $55 billion deficit in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.

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Abbott is to meet Gov. Gen. David Johnston and take part in a roundtable discussion with business leaders from Canada and Australia before meeting with Harper on Parliament Hill.

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