Friday, August 29, 2008

This Just Keeps Getting Better

Harper must have woken up this morning, checked the headlines and wondered, "Is it too late to change my mind?"

Canada squeaks past recession as GDP rebounds

OTTAWA -- Canada's economy limped ahead in the second quarter barely enough to avoid the first recession in 17 years, recording the thinnest of gains after a much worse winter quarter than previously believed.

But with Statistics Canada sharply revising downward it's first quarter tally on gross domestic product to a negative 0.8 per cent, the modest 0.3 per cent gain in the March-June period meant that the economy actually contracted during the first six months of 2008.

It constitutes the worst performance by the economy since 1991...


Ottawa wanted U.S. to accept more lenient meat inspection regime

OTTAWA — The Canadian government strongly opposed tougher U.S. rules to prevent listeria and lobbied the United States to accept Canada's more lenient standards, internal documents reveal.

Briefing notes prepared by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for an April 7, 2006, meeting with the board of directors of the Canadian Meat Council outline how both industry and the Canadian government were frustrated with the increased precautions the United States was demanding.

Specifically, Canada opposed daily inspection visits and the testing of finished products for Listeria monocytogenes.


Walkerton mayor calls for public inquiry on listeria outbreak

OTTAWA — The Mayor of Walkerton, Ont. is calling for a public inquiry into the outbreak of listeria, saying he cannot believe lessons failed to be learned from the tainted water tragedy that killed seven people in May 2000.

Mayor Charlie Bagnato released a statement today decrying the current outbreak as “outrageous” and noting that some of the cabinet ministers who were in the Ontario government in 2000 are now in the federal cabinet.


Tories' arts cuts spark ire in Quebec

The recent Conservative cuts to arts and culture have done what neither the pursuit of the unpopular Afghan war nor the demise of the Kyoto Protocol had accomplished: wake up a sleeping Quebec giant that is now gathering strength for a show of force in the upcoming election campaign.

In the swift-changing Quebec political narrative, the controversy is shaping up to offer the Liberals their best chance to rise from the dead in the province. By putting the axe to a host of cultural programs on the eve of a probable campaign, Stephen Harper's Conservatives may have given St├ęphane Dion the kiss of life in Quebec.

Let's see... the Liberals need seats in Ontario, Quebec and BC. All three have active arts, film and television industries. All three have suffered listeriosis cases. Ontario and Quebec are already feeling the effects of a looming recession. Ontario remembers Walkerton. Quebec is full of disenchanted ex-Bloc voters looking for a new home.

Oh, yeah - and urban BCers haven't been reacting at all well to those Conservative ten-percenters about the nasty "junkies". Or to Tony Clement's asinine comments about safe injection sites.

If Dion just keeps picking at those sores while presenting a clear, comprehensive plan to lead us in a new direction, I think the results might just surprise everyone. Then again, anything can happen in 36 days. That's why politics is my favourite sport!


BTW, I found this comment by Harper to be very interesting...

The most common definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of shrinking economic output, but Mr. Harper said this wouldn't worry him because it would only be a "technical recession," while Canada's outlook is strong.

"Even if it's true, I don't think it's a real recession. ... There are job losses, but overall employment is pretty stable."

... especially when you compare it to this statement by John McCain's top economic advisor:

"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. "We may have a recession; we haven't had one yet."

Don't worry. Be happy.


  1. It constitutes the worst performance by the economy since 1991...

    And a Conservative was PM then, too.

  2. Your "technical recession" link doesn't work.

    And I'd highly recommend fixing it, as that's a devastating miscue by Harper.

  3. Damn you, Globe & Mail! :) I've linked it to the cached version for now, but if you Google "technical recession, Harper" you can find other articles with the same quote.