Is Canada Drinking the Austerity Kool Aid?

Thus far, our stolid  neighbor to the north has managed to avoid the worst of the global crisis, thanks to a common-sense moderation that is almost tedious to observe.  They didn’t go in for massive bank deregulation, they have a pretty high-functioning health care system, the list goes on and on.

But now there are signs that Stephen Harper’s conservative government may join in the developed countries’ wrong-headed orgy of austerity.  This according to the Globe and Mail:

The Harper government concluded a two-year stimulus spending package in March and is now trying to trim the operating cost of government to tame Ottawa’s deficit by 2015.

“It continues to be our view that the Canadian economy will grow; it will grow gradually and slowly, along with the world recovery,” Mr. Harper said. “As long as those remain the circumstances, the policy mix of the government of Canada is the appropriate one.”. . . .

The Harper government’s economic strategy includes tax cuts, spending on training and diversifying trade away from the ailing U.S. economy.

We’ll see how this works in light of new indications of faltering growth up north.  (By the way, that last element of Harper’s strategy is interesting:  looking to diversify away from our faltering economy.  Ouch!)

You can read the full article here.


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