When all is said and done, it could be that the so-called economic recovery of 2010 was all smoke and mirrors generated from a federal economic stimulus package that only delayed the pain instead of eliminating it.
In it latest update on its stimulus plan, the federal government said Monday that it will monitor economic conditions before it winds down its stimulus measures at the end of March.
This sets up the perfect scenario for the grandstanding and preening that our politicians have become well-known for, as described in my previous blog. It appears now that the Canadian economy is faltering somewhat since the brighter days of earlier this year.
The latest data on Canadian economic activity is due on Thursday, but as yesterday’s blog pointed out, businesses need some honest answers and frank discussion from government leaders about where this country is headed in the next year or so.
Part 2 is that we also need to find out what’s going to be done about it without politics from either side of the house because there are conceivably challenges ahead that will be difficult to deal with for any party that is in power.
Here’s the deal:
The federal government’s stimulus package is due to end March 31 and there is already howling from opposition parties that projects under the plan that aren’t finished by that date won’t be completed with stimulus funds, although that isn’t etched in stone by any stretch of the imagination.
That’s just the beginning of what could be months and months of political volleys back and forth as the March 31 deadline approaches. The grandstanding could get even worse if the economy falters more during the winter to the point that the political posturing is stalling any constructive measures to deal with the problem.
By the end of March, the federal government may need to extend the massive stimulus program even if it has said it doesn’t want to go down that road. The alternative may be that we experience a double-dip recession, which will naturally cause howls from the opposition.
What the opposition will conveniently forget to do in all that ruckus is bring up any alternatives to stimulus spending to deal with the problem and what it would do to limit or even shrink the massive deficit this country has built up over the past few years and threatens to leave behind for the next generation.
Of course, the next generation isn’t the politicians’ concern. They want votes now, so politicking takes precedence over constructive dialogue. Meanwhile, the media will blindly go along with whatever party each individual outlet backs while gunning for the other side, which makes it just as bad as the politicians.
With threats of coalition governments and proroguing, that atmosphere is not conducive to accomplishment on matters as important as the economy and with the media so intent on backing a certain party and nailing another, few intelligent questions are being asked in this Curly, Larry and Moe atmosphere.
This isn’t a slapstick comedy with rising household debt, the possibility of rising interest rates and lost jobs staring us in the face. Say what you want about the Canadian banking system and all the safeguards we have here, the truth is that we’re not immune from what’s happened in the United States.
If that’s an overreaction, say so and stick to that statement. If it isn’t, tell us so we can prepare our businesses for what’s ahead and tell us what you plan to do about it. For once, all parties should consider the best interests of their constituents instead of putting on an act for them
In an industry such as golf, where we depends so much on disposable income, we need to know if the waters are relatively calm or if there’s a tsunami coming.