The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.
In the middle of an election campaign, the opposition parties will try to have a field day with the news that Canada is officially in recession.
Wise stewardship of the economy being Stephen Harper’s high card in the Oct. 19th election, the opposition parties will try to have a field day with the Sept. 1 confirmation by Statscan that Canada is officially in recession.
In fact, Canada is the only G7 country in recession.
Obviously, the bad news will be hammered away at for the duration of the campaign by Tom Mulcair, Justin Trudeau and their 674 fellow NDP and Liberal candidates for Parliament.
It could get worse for the governing Tories. Worrisome jobless figures will be released later this week. And Harper’s ballyhooed federal budgetary surplus for the current fiscal year is looking more like magical thinking with each passing week.
It becomes clear, if it wasn’t already, why Harper called this outrageously long, costly campaign when he did. This week’s bad economic news is “frontloaded,” as the Duffy trial is. Conservatives have reason to hope that all the negative noise will be back-of-mind for voters come Oct. 19.
And Harper was well prepared for today’s bad news. Preliminary GDP figures released by Statscan weeks ago enabled him to come out today with bold announcements of two new programs to help the struggling manufacturing sector.
And Harper’s talking points were in order: The recession is caused by factors beyond his control, he says. The PM cites a world oil price that began its plunge in June 2014, and weak export markets for Canadian oil, forest products, base metals and other commodities.
Harper insists he’s not implicated in our economic misfortunes.
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