Friday, October 30, 2009

Canada's economy long way from recovery: report

We're hearing a lot these days about how the recession is "over", and from a technical standpoint this may be true, but a recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives suggests that it may take some time before we see the benefits of any recovery:

Canada's economy is a long way from recovery, and more public investment will be key to getting there, says a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

"I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel … and our high dollar is making it worse," said Jim Stanford, co-author of the report and an economist with the Canadian Auto Workers.

The private sector is still shrinking, most new jobs are being created in the public sector and the economy may require billions more in government stimulus, according to the report released Thursday in Ottawa.

"So far we've seen continued decline in exports, continued decline in business capital spending," Stanford said. "Across the private sector as a whole, there's no source of new growth.

From the CBC. How this additional stimulus money should be spent is a good question. I'd suggest putting a lot more into solar and wind power, for starters, and perhaps fixing all the bloody potholes in Winnipeg's streets couldn't hurt. Of course, there are other ways to spend stimulus money, which are very beneficial to some people:

The Conservative government's economic stimulus spending spree that is pouring billions of tax dollars into road construction projects may turn out to be an offer the Mafia couldn't refuse.

Even as Stephen Harper and his ministers are racing around the country showering public funds on just about every project with a cement mixer, Quebec is engulfed in a growing scandal over Mafia control of infrastructure projects.

In some excellent investigative reporting by the CBC, a credible government insider-turned-whistleblower claims Montreal's Italian Mafia controls 80% of the contracts for road construction in the city, much of which is certain to involve federal stimulus money.

The CBC report included detailed descriptions of bid-rigging of contracts, a practice that dramatically inflates overall project costs borne by taxpayers.

From the London Free Press. This is the sort of thing that gives stimulus programs a bad name.

No comments: