“after 21 months in office, our economy is strong”
- Stephen Harper – November 7th, 2007
“our economy is on solid ground….Our economy has grown by six percent in the last two years and unemployment is at the lowest levels in the past ten years.” Hill said those numbers did not happen by accident but rather through strong leadership at the federal level.
- Jay Hill, MP, Prince George-Peace River, Secretary of State and Chief Government Whip – January 30th, 2008
“As we settle into 2008, Canada's economy is strong, thanks to good economic stewardship and strong leadership.”
- David Sweet, MP, Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale (ADFW) – February 22nd, 2008
There are surely many more examples one could find with a little more time, but if Conservatives credit Harper and Flaherty’s leadership as being responsible for a strong economy (even though that strong economy was in place when he took office from the Liberals), then surely Conservatives will be stepping forward to accept that that very same “strong leadership” is responsible for our economy now teetering towards recession.
Canada's economy contracted in the first quarter of the year, the first time in five years that the country's output shrank outright, raising the spectre of a recession. But Finance Minister Jim Flaherty quickly dismissed such fears.
Real gross domestic product declined a harsh 0.3 per cent at an annualized rate, Statistics Canada said Friday, exposing an economy far weaker than economists' projections of 0.5 per cent growth in the first three months of the year.
“This is a bitterly disappointing and surprising result,” Dale Orr, chief economist for forecasting firm Global Insight Canada, said in a note to clients.
Canada's contraction stands in stark contrast to the 0.9 per cent expansion registered for the first quarter in the United States, where recession fears weigh heavily.
Friday's Canadian numbers raise the possibility that Canada may be in a mild recession, while the United States may be able to avoid one.
Global Insight has been forecasting growth to weaken further in the second quarter in Canada - although firm numbers won't be published until next week. The popular definition of a recession is two straight quarters of decline in real GDP.
The Conservatives spent the cupboard bare and budgeted so close to the line that now there is an extreme risk of plunging our country back into deficit. What Flaherty’s forecasts say we won’t? Ok well Flaherty’s forecastssure didn’t say there would be negative growth in the last quarter either. He has absolutely failed as a finance minister putting our economy at tremendous risk with reckless spending and moronic cuts to the GST that no one has actually noticed in their day to day lives (because you guessed it so many retailers just increased their prices accordingly to compensate). As a result the Treasury has been drained at no benefit to the economy and we have Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper to thank.
Come election time Conservatives will have to explain how we went from the best economy in 30 years with large surpluses to (actual or near) recession and close to being in deficit all the while cutting the sorts of taxes that have provided no benefit to the economy. Some strong leadership for the economy alright.
Canadians deserve better and will be better able to trust a Liberal government that fixed a Conservative mess and managed a strong economy for 13 years rather than a party that brought our economy down the tubes in the span of just 2 years. If Conservatives are going to run as strong economic managers or even fiscal Conservatives in the next election I say good luck to them.
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