Monday, March 23, 2009

Goodale: "Conservatives Lack Credibility On Economy"

Another great Ralph Goodale commentary. This time he talks about the Conservatives' lack of credibility on the economy...


In recent speeches, Stephen Harper has been asking Canadians to “trust” him on the state of the economy. According to him, everything is going to be just fine real soon.

But such a plea runs immediately into two big problems.

First, it flies in the face of hard evidence that everything is not fine. On the jobs front, for example, Canada’s economy has lost nearly 300,000 jobs since the election last October.

Mr. Harper claims we’re doing better than the U.S., but in fact this country is shedding jobs faster than the Americans. On a per capita basis, for every 10 jobs lost in the U.S. over the past two months, 15 have been lost in Canada.

Just last week – the Bank of Canada, the International Monetary Fund, Merrill Lynch, BMO Nesbitt-Burns, and the TD Bank all down-graded their forecasts for Canada’s situation, contradicting Mr. Harper’s foolishly rosy projections.

Perhaps most telling, the distinguished former Deputy Minister of Finance and former Bank of Canada Governor, David Dodge, describes Mr. Harper’s position as “totally unrealistic” and “dreaming in technicolour”.

Mr. Harper’s second problem is his own track-record for not telling the truth.

He didn’t tell the truth about Income Trusts or Equalization or fixed election dates.

Last September, he said a recession in Canada was unlikely. Last October, he said Canadians had “good buying opportunities” on a plummeting stock market. And last November, he said his government would run at least four more surplus budgets.

In each case, he was wrong. And he knew it. He did not speak the truth.

Real hope for Canadians cannot be built on Mr. Harper’s falsehoods and fantasies. He needs to be honest about what lies ahead, and he needs to deliver a recovery plan that matches the real magnitude of the problem.

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