Tories try to hide from fiscal reality

They might not want to call it a recession, but whatever it is, Harper's fingerprints are all over it

The troubled plight of the Canadian economy took centre stage on the nation’s political scene last week.

While news that Canada’s economy has slipped into recession didn’t come as a shock to many financial analysts – apart from the nation’s finance minister who was still denying fiscal reality only weeks before – the reaction it prompted from the federal government was certainly a little unusual.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s response to the nation was to say, in effect, ‘I didn’t do it.’ Apparently, the buck stops with falling oil prices, Beijing or Washington, D.C. – anywhere but 24 Sussex Drive.

In fact, the Conservatives have done little to diversify Canada from its resource-based  economy. While China’s economy has slowed, is Harper saying Canada is doomed without double-digit GDP growth in China? And in the U.S. the Fed is on the verge of hiking interest rates to slow their red-hot economy. The prime minister might as well have come out and blamed his Liberal predecessors for only leaving him a paltry $13 billion surplus to squander.

Not content to merely dodge responsibility, Harper went on to say things would be worse under Justin Trudeau and brought up the spectre of Greece in relation to Tom Mulclair. ‘At least we’re not Greece,’ doesn’t seem like an inspiring election platform.

The downward revision to Canada’s GDP outlook means that the country will almost certainly run a deficit again this year. The irony here is that the Conservatives’ actions to create a balanced budget to campaign on helped foster the conditions for recession. Despite what Harper might claim now, a recession was far from inevitable – a quick look at other G7 nations shows that Canada is the only one now mired in negative growth.

Instead of looking for an economic solution the government would rather change the definition of recession itself, with the Bank of Canada governor calling the use of the ‘R’ word not helpful. Fair enough, maybe a more accurate description would be Stephen Harper’s Economic Action Plan at work.

 

Just Posted

Saanich resident to carry NDP banner against local MP Elizabeth May

Sabine Singh will accept nomination Saturday at Saanich Commonwealth Place

Province invests $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training

Money to go towards teacher spots and Indigenous teaching practices

Canucks host pre-season game, training camp in Victoria

Practices to be open to the public; Game against Calgary Flames set for Sept. 16

Province promises July policy changes to help break cycle of poverty in B.C.

Families providing room and board to kin will no longer be financially penalized

Victoria seventh most youth-friendly Canadian city: national index

B.C. capital tops YouthfulCities’ education and creative arts categories

BREAKING: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Police make arrest after report of a man brandishing a gun at Campbell River-area lake

43-year-old man from the Comox area has since been charged with multiple offences

B.C. high school withdraws notices for temporary dress code

Parents previously told the Interior News they felt there was inadequate consultation over the rules

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Most Read