OTTAWA – Conservative cabinet ministers aren’t all singing from the same songbook when it comes to the recession.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Tuesday he’s not ready to declare the recession over, as the governor of the Bank of Canada did last week.
But Trade Minister Stockwell Day supported the bank’s analysis in a newspaper column Monday.
“I’m not kidding. The recession is over,” Day wrote in the Penticton Western News on Monday.
“Last week, after poring over all the numbers (Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney) was able to declare, not on whim but based on economic fact that the nasty ‘R’ word no longer applied to Canada.”
Day added Canada still faces challenges but the economy is showing initial signs of recovery.
Liberal finance critic John McCallum has sent Flaherty a letter asking whether Day would clarify his statements.
Reporters asked Day about his comments as he emerged from a caucus meeting Wednesday. He did not repeat his assertion that the recession is over.
“There are still challenges out there,” Day said. “We’ve got unemployed people and we’ve got to stay focused on keeping things on the right track.”
Transport Minister John Baird echoed Flaherty’s sentiments that it’s premature to declare Canada out of the woods.
“The governor’s comments are obviously optimistic, which is a good thing,” Baird said.
“What we want to make sure of is that we don’t pop out the champagne just yet. There’s a lot of Canadian families that are still feeling the pain of the economic times that are going around the world.”