Stephen Harper was probably smart not to try feigning an emotional response today over the state of the economy. The Prime Minister would have looked phony.

But did he really need to talk in Toronto like a broker trying to coax a reluctant dentist into risking a few bucks on a hot tip in a bear market?

“I’m not the most emotionally expressive guy, but I understand, I understand in my own family, that people are pretty shocked by developments in the stock market,” he told reporters in Toronto.

“Look,” he went on, “the main thing the government has to do in a time like this is not panic. A lot of people out there are panicking. I think there are probably some great buying opportunities emerging on the stock market as a consequence of all this panic.”

But the market churn, though it’s pretty scary, isn’t really the root worry of most Canadians. What’s got people spooked is the notion that it’s their mutual funds now, but might be their jobs soon. The PM says he understands, but not if he really thinks its about the TSX. It’s about what comes next.

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