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Recession Not Over After All

Last week, The Bank of Canada caused quite a stir with the declaration that the recession was, in fact, over. Numerous visitors to websites belonging to Toronto newspapers who published the news exclaimed both their disbelief and frustration with the unfathomable story.

Today, it seems, some of these publications are recanting this story. In today's Toronto Sun, The Canadian Press instead claims that “Canada’s economy may be showing signs of life, but federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty isn’t yet ready to declare the recession over.”

According to the article, Flaherty admits that it was “premature” to declare the end of the recession but believes that “there are good signs that the economy has stabilized”.

“There are the beginnings of a recovery,” says Flaherty, “and I wouldn’t put it any stronger than that.”

This, of course, would echo the sentiments of numerous agitated Canadians who voiced (or typed) their opinions about the supposed end to the recession last week. The Bank of Canada's declaration angered many who had lost their jobs due to the struggling economy.

Wrote one angry reader on Toronto Sun's website: “Here's the thing, when job losses come back to reality numbers, lay offs stop (and) government gets out of debt, then come back to us and tell us the recession is over.”

Clearly, employment loss is atop the list of negative effects of the recession on Canadian society. Evidence of this is found in the number of Employment Insurance benefits currently being doled out to jobless citizens across the country.

According to The Canadian Press, “Statistics Canada reported Tuesday that EI payouts hit their highest level in May since 1997. Just over three quarters of a million Canadians, 778,700 people, received EI benefits in May, an increase of 65,600 or 9.2% from the month earlier.”

Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale was quoted as sharing these words about this worrisome situation: “The sad reality is these numbers only scratch the surface of the hardships many Canadian families are facing. For everyone getting EI benefits, there’s someone else who’s lost their job but can’t access Employment Insurance.”

Evidently, the jury is out on when the recession will truly be over. However, as reports suggest, Canada seems to be on its way to a brighter economic future. Let's hope it's sooner than later.

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