Harper focuses on growing economy not balancing budget


Prime Minister Harper says that his first objective is making sure the Canadian economy keeps growing, not balancing the budget.

In an interview with Sun News Network, Harper said he was surprised by how long it’s taken world economies to recover after the 2008-2009 financial collapse.

“I thought that while the recovery would be slow, I did not expect the level of uncertainty that we still see,” he said. Harper said he wants to continue towards a “gradual reduction” in the deficit.

Harper also said that Canada will look for new trade opportunities in order for the country to be less dependent on the U.S., and said there are 50 agreements in the works with countries such as China, Japan, and India.


Filed under:

Harper focuses on growing economy not balancing budget

  1. He might to do something about that trade deficit if he wants to actually do something about the Canadian economy rather than Alberta’s.

    • Yeah Harper is only concerned with Alberta’s oil sands. When the Liberals were in power, we had economic policy that allowed all provinces to prosper.

      There’s definitely a relationship between a big trade deficit and a big budget deficit. All the bankrupt US PIIGS (100% debt/GDP club) ran large trade deficits before their debt crises hit.

      In Canada, we had a substantial trade deficit in the early 1990s of -3.5% GDP. This turned to a whopping budget deficit. The Liberals came to power and put in place pro-growth monetary policy that produced a 2% trade surplus. This helped pay down the budget deficit turning it to a sizable surplus. Since Harper came to power the trade balance has plummeted to a 3% deficit and there are again serious deficit problems in ON and federally. Canadians also have record levels of personal debt.

      A large trade deficit means a country is consuming more in imports than it is earning with exports. The money has to come from somewhere. The end result is debt.

  2. Harper is surprised? Harper is an incompetent economist on the take from the system if he can’t see that a recovery is just not in the cards. You can’t fix a debt problem with more debt, tax cuts or even at this late stage with austerity. The jig is up.

  3. Or in otherwords, “Remember those balanced budgets I promised you by 2014? Yeah, well that election’s over now.”

  4. This PM’s, even more than most political leaders, first and only objective is power and getting reelected. Canada is not as badly off as most countries is because he inherited an excellent situation of being in a trade and budget surplus and growing wide spread prosperity. Like his soul mate and man crush, George W. Bush, he adopted right wing economic policies that created a structural deficit of $23B, destroyed Canada’s competitive trade advantage with an over priced currency, and brags and genuinely believes turning Canada back to a commodity exporting third world economy country and working, blue collar, and middle class impoverishment is the path to prosperity.

    • True. Canada needs to foster its value-added sector to keep up with the developed world. Innovation and productivity growth are the paths to prosperity. While third-world countries are working their way up the value-added chain, Harper is dragging Canada down it. Going all-in on resources in the 21st century is a foolish and dangerous bet.

  5. Fiscal responsibility is never a priority for neo-cons. Harper blew the Liberal $14B surplus on a GST tax cut and other “boutique” tax cuts before the 2008 crisis hit, turning it to a $5B deficit. In fact, according to conservative columnist Andrew Coyne, Harper’s record on spending is worse than Bob Rae’s. He raised spending by $100B/yr or a 60% increase (not counting stimulus that ran out in 2010.) Now he’s gutting spending to save $5B/yr which is a drop in the bucket.

    Harper is carefree when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars: billion-dollar G20 WEEKEND boondoggle; $4.5B Parliament renos Paul Martin cancelled; $6B HST bribe to ON and BC; $2.2B payoff to QC for *not* retroactively adopting the HST; $35B money-pit fighter jets; tens of billions more turning Canada into Royal war-makers; $5B/yr importing the failed Republican war on drugs and crime; countless billions on a Soviet-style information-control bureaucracy that stonewalls journalists and muzzles scientists; $10B/yr on oil subsidies and failing R&D corporate welfare. Plus over $30B/yr on tax cuts.

    Who knows what the real budget numbers are; the Harper Government has refused to release public budget documents since 2010. The Budget Officer it appointed is actually suing the government for access. When Flaherty was finance minister in ON, he said a $5.6B structural deficit was a balanced budget. Now it’s more like $25B.

    • NP: Andrew Coyne: Why are the Liberals worried about the Bob Rae attack ads?
      “In fact, for all his notoriety, Rae’s record compares rather well with Harper’s.”

  6. Hello all;
    Let’s just face it: Now that he’s got it, he really just likes spending our money. Now, however, it because it is for our own good: “Gotta keep that economy growing”.
    He’s an economist, remember?
    Mr. Brian Leslie Engler

  7. The truth is, Harper is Canada’s George Bush. Sometimes people exercise poor judgment when it comes to electing politicians, allowing themselves to be fooled by “simple” solutions to complex issues. Just like Bush, Harper will be voted out of office next time around, and no-one will ever talk about him again. As if it never happened…