Common Sense Canadian

As prices tank, Harper downplays importance of oil to Canadian economy

PostedJanuary 26, 2015 by in Canada
As prices tank, Harper downplays importance of oil to Canadian economy

Photo: Twitter/@pmharper

Read this Jan. 22 story from Bill Curry in The Globe and Mail on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s surprising change of tune around the importance of oil to the Canadian economy, speaking to a manufacturing crowd in Ontario.

Stephen Harper is playing down the impact of energy on the overall Canadian economy, noting that other sectors will help keep growth strong during hard times for the oil patch.

The Prime Minister, who has previously promoted Canada abroad as an emerging energy superpower, stressed the importance of small business, manufacturing and innovation during an event in St. Catherines, one of many Southwestern Ontario communities that have lost manufacturing jobs in recent years.

“It’s obviously significant for the Canadian economy, particularly certain sectors and regions, but the oil industry isn’t remotely the entire Canadian economy,” said Mr. Harper. “There are many benefits to other parts of the economy because of these developments and although the oil industry in those regions are going to face some pretty significant adjustments, the fact of the matter is that this is a resilient industry that knows that prices go up and down.”

The Prime Minister’s comments, which followed an announcement to expand a program for small-business loans, marked his first public response since Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz shocked markets Wednesday by cutting interest rates in response to lower-than-expected growth and inflation.

Mr. Harper noted that while the bank is independent of the government, he supported the bank’s actions.

“I should say the government has complete confidence in the Bank of Canada and the actions that it has taken. They are appropriate,” he said.

“But in terms of fiscal policy, the appropriate action is to make sure that as long as the economy continues to grow, we balance our budget,” Mr. Harper added.

Opposition parties say the Bank of Canada’s rate cut is a clear sign that the Canadian economy is facing serious trouble and they lay the blame on the Conservatives for placing too much importance on Canada’s energy sector at the expense of other areas, such as manufacturing.

“The size and the importance of the oil industry varies on whether it’s doing well or not according to Conservatives,” said NDP finance critic Nathan Cullen.



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Common Sense Canadian



    That his idea of a “small” business extends to those who gross $10 MILLION says much about his mindset. One also wonders how that ‘surprise” interest rate cut will effect the payments on the national dept and thus the deficit and what other “surprises” will come in the much delayed budget.


    The manly incredible sides/faces of Stephen Harper – story changes with the wind. Unfortunately his supporters have extremely short memories and/or distorted perceptions of the big picture. It’s sad to see so many people “taken” by the continued distortion of the truth simply because it is essentially “self serving” for Harper & Co.

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