When it comes to the appropriateness of the federal deficit, who are you going to believe: former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge, the talking heads over at CBC and CTV or Michael Ignatieff? I’ll put my money on Dodge—so too will most Canadians I believe.
As reported at Bloomberg.com, David Dodge, who was a former deputy minister with the Finance Department, said in remarks at an economics conference in Toronto:
“The Canadian federal deficit of 3 per cent of GDP, in a year where the output gap is as large as it’s going to be, is certainly not inappropriate.”
Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page—no friend of Harper’s government—offered nothing like Ignatieff’s doom and gloom in the interview Mr. Page had last week with Steve Paikin of TVO’s The Agenda.
Why then is opposition Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff calling for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s resignation? Crass partisan politics, that’s why.
Here in Canada—through no fault of our own—we are facing our first recession since 1992. Our economy is struggling. Shipments of cars and lumber to the United States have declined, and the overall economy has contracted at an annual pace of 3.4 per cent in the last quarter of 2008. The Bank of Canada estimates that growth in the first quarter may shrink at a 7.3 percent rate, the biggest drop on record.
To this the Grits say little of value, preferring to damn the government for a recession it does not own. I believe that during wars and economic crises we should pull together for the betterment of Canada and not try to scratch out each other’s eyes.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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