TORONTO, Canada (1/15/09)--Canadian Finance Minster Jim Flaherty is inviting Credit Union Central of Canada--the Canadian national trade association for credit unions--to be part of Canada’s new national working group on credit. Desjardins, Canada’s largest co-operative financial group, also is invited. Executives from individual Canadian banks and the Canadian Bankers Association reportedly met Tuesday in Toronto with Canadian Central and Desjardins (The Toronto Star Jan. 14). It is not clear if the financial cooperatives would become permanent members of the group or take a role only as observers, the newspaper said. A key issue for the group is credit availability for consumers and businesses. The invitation indicates that the federal government--when it reveals its budget Jan. 27--could implement further action to augment credit, the paper said. Flaherty created the group last week in response to growing complaints about access to credit, the paper said. Government officials and bank executives were instructed to look for ways to make loans more accessible.