OTTAWA – The Harper government is encouraged by President Barack Obama’s remarks Friday about the fiscal cliff that could plunge the United States into a recession — and take Canada with it.

Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies said he is pleased with the willingness by political opponents to work collectively to avert the “fiscal cliff.”

“[Obama] is signalling that he’s willing to work with Congress,” he said.

“I think that they realized the magnitude of the decisions that they have to make and the impact to themselves and other countries if they don’t make some good, solid decisions.”

However, he noted the consequences will be dire for Canada if the U.S. cannot solve its economic challenge.

“It will impact all of us,” Menzies said. “We are not immune to the shocks that will come to us from outside our country. It’s serious, there’s no use dodging the issue that decisions need to be made.”

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Canada is prepared to stimulate the economy should the need arise.

Menzies said the country addressed the last recession and is prepared to do the same if it feels the impact of a financial crisis in the U.S.

“We reacted when we were forced into recession back in 2008 and we are prepared to react again,” he said.