The global economic crisis is an opportunity for Canada to cash in when the eventual recovery arrives, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said yesterday in his first major speech on the current recession.
Ottawa will ensure the country comes out of the recession faster than other nations and stronger than ever, Harper said, adding Canada entered the global recession in a position of strength compared to other countries.
“For Canada, this crisis does offer opportunity,” Harper said in a speech to the Brampton Board of Trade.
“Ultimately, it is an opportunity to position ourselves so that when the recovery comes, we’re among the first to catch the wave.”
Canada was the last “advanced country” to fall into recession, he said.
“If there ever was a time to put away that legendary Canadian modesty, it is now,” Harper said.
“Notwithstanding all the troubles around us, Canada has real advantages, real assets, and we should not hesitate to remind investors, partners and leaders around the world of the comparative strengths of our country.”
The 3,330-word address, which comes amid a steady stream of grim economic news and massive layoffs spanning numerous industries, is part of a broader shift in strategy for the prime minister.
A spokesman said the speech locale was chosen because southern Ontario’s manufacturing sector has been particularly hard-hit by the recession. Brampton, is home to a Chrysler assembly plant and scores of light industry.
The Chrysler plant employs 3,500 people and although it remains open, it was recently idled for a week.