Wednesday November 9, 2011

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday November 9, 2011

Flaherty is bearer of bad news

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty came to one of the country’s economic bright spots to deliver some gloomy news about the Canadian economy Tuesday.

Announcing the government’s economic update in a speech at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, he said that in light of global economic turmoil, GDP growth projections for Canada had been revised downward.

And the Conservative campaign promise to eliminate Canada’s deficit by the 2014-2015 budget was now described by Flaherty as simply an “aim,” with the government update projecting a return to balanced budgets only in 2015-2016 at the earliest.

But Flaherty used his speech to stress Canada’s relative strength in the world economy and noted Alberta’s relatively strong position within the country.

“The employment situation is certainly much stronger in the West than it is in the East,” he said. Nevertheless, Flaherty said he expects continued modest economic growth without the country slipping into recession.

The stay-the-course update contained only a handful of tweaks to the Conservatives’ fiscal plan, including some relief on employment insurance premiums, extension of a federal work-sharing program and stretching out the timeline for eliminating a $31-billion deficit. (Source: Calgary Herald)