Learn from our mistakes

While the Conservatives have spent the last three years lamenting for the possibility of “opportunistic,” “unnecessary,” “unwanted,” “costly,” “needless” elections that could imperil the national economy and hurt the unemployed, the Finance Minister volunteered yesterday that, in hindsight, the Prime Minister probably wouldn’t have plunged the country into an election in the fall of 2008.

One of the most testing times in my career in public service was the recession that began in the Fall of 2008. In fact, we were in the midst of an election when it hit with full force. Had we been aware of the crisis on the horizon, the Prime Minister would have been unlikely to call the election. Nevertheless, that was the situation. So I found myself campaigning for re-election in Whitby-Oshawa while juggling an increasing number of phone calls with the G7 finance ministers as we all became more aware of the breadth of the worldwide economic crisis.

It was during that campaign, of course, that Mr. Harper offered his assessment that if there was going to be a recession it would’ve happened by then.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.