Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cooperation and action can help economy

Correction Notice: Original press release stated "layoffs will affect between 50 and 195 people", due to a misinterpretation of this Telegraph Journal article.The layoff will only affect up to 50 of Moosehead's 195 production employees. We apologize for this error.

UPDATE: Here are two more stories of New Brunswick companies affected by the slumping US economy.


Rob Moir, NDP Candidate for Fundy Royal and professor of economics, expresses optimism that cooperation on the economy is possible in light of the recent 'credit crunch' in the United States. While Mr. Harper is resistant to admit the impacts it will have on the Canadian economy, Moir remains confident that progressive minds can work together.

I n the English language debate, Stephen Harper said, "First, I'd like to say that Canada is not the U.S. The situation is very different from it; the basic fundamentals of our economy are strong. We have a surplus, a budget surplus, we have an economy that continues to create jobs, we're not experiencing a crisis in our financial system." I find that a bit hard to swallow," says Moir. "Just yesterday it was reported that Moosehead would introduce rotating lay-offs that will affect up to 50 people."

Moosehead blames the lay-offs, in part, upon reduced demand for premium beer in the United States as a consequence of that country's slowing economy. "To imply that we are insulated from what is happening in the U.S., our single largest trading partner, is at best misleading, and at worst, completely disingenuous," comments Moir, echoing New Democrat leader Jack Layton's retort to Mr. Harper, "Either you don't care or you're incompetent. Which is it?"

There is growing speculation that the credit crunch in the United States will in fact leak into Canada. While the Bank of Canada may lower interest rates in the near future, liquidity-strapped banks with questionable loans may be reluctant to lend, consumers may be reluctant to borrow and spend, and industry may be reluctant to invest.

"It is naive to think that within today's global economy, our country could somehow be isolated from the larger market," admits Moir. "But with co-operation and vision, we can work together to seek wise investment strategies and opportunities for growth that will cushion us from events in the United States. This will not happen, however, if our government ignores the obvious challenges we face as a nation."

Earlier in the week, New Democrat leader Jack Layton appealed to members of all parties to meet and discuss the economy. This commitment to cooperation is shared by his candidate in Fundy Royal. "What this country needs right now," comments Moir, "is trained progressive economists who understand the important productivity gains of prudent social investment, specifically at the local level. We need to get to work in Ottawa; hang up our political jackets at the door, and sit down together and do some very hard work."

No comments: