TORONTO, Ontario (10/24/08)--Canada expects to include credit unions in a plan to guarantee interbank lending. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty this week introduced the plan, which is similar to plans introduced by several countries, including the U.S., to cope with the economic crisis (Dow Jones Newswires Oct. 23). The move is ostensibly designed to help Canadian financial institutions remain competitive with institutions worldwide, rather than to mitigate any specific problems in the Canadian financial system, industry sources told the newspaper. The plan has a six-month limit, will be offered to banks on commercial terms, and will not cost taxpayers, the paper said. Finance officials in Canadian provinces have indicated they expect to provide similar assistance to credit unions, Flaherty told the paper. The program is offered as a safety mechanism in the event the ongoing credit crisis disrupts lending to Canadian financial institutions, Flaherty told the paper.