Those paying attention knew that it was all smoke and mirrors, designed to make us look to Stephen Harper as the captain who would steer us out of the recession.
But alas, Stephen Harper was not steering us anywhere. He was charting his own course with television ads and signs.
The Canadian economy had a great run immediately following the recession, but analysts warn that the stark reality of a slow, painful recovery — like the one gripping the United States — is beginning to sink in. Growth forecasts are being scaled back on the emergence of weaker economic indicators — highlighted yesterday by a report on the surprise drop in July retail sales. This is on top of soft consumer price statistics that suggest core inflation is slowing, and a bleak wholesale trade report.And we may actually be worse off than the United States.
These factors prompted IHS Global Insight to warn Canadian growth could slow at a more dramatic pace than that of the U.S. economy. The firm now estimates annualized growth in Canada of less than 1% for this quarter — a big comedown for an economy that advanced 5.8% in the first three months of 2010, followed by a 2% gain in the April-to-June period. “When you look at relative momentum, Canada is declining even faster than the United States,” said Brian Bethune ...There is some speculation that Harper will call an election on October 1, to avoid the fall out of Sheila Fraser's report on the infrastructure spending, which is expected to show what this government has actually been doing with our money.
She won't be allowed to release it if we're in the middle of an election campaign.