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Henry Paulson, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, turned to Canada and other Group of Seven industrialized countries Sunday to back a sweeping financial relief package to alleviate stresses in the banking system that carries a fast-rising price tag of well over US$700-billion.
In a fresh development, the proposed U.S. bailout was expanded Sunday to include Canadian and other foreign institutions with "significant operations" in the country, after the scheme was initially restricted to soaking up bad assets from U.S. lenders.
Canadian financial institutions have billions of dollars of illiquid and hard-to-value assets and were set to qualify for relief under the new terms of the bailout plan,
A U.S. official said rescuing foreign financial institutions from bad bets with U.S. tax money could be politically contentious, making it imperative other governments be seen "to do their share."