Despite a sluggish economy and an overheated housing sector, Canada still has a lot to be thankful for, according to a former Finance Minister.
Michael Wilson, who served from 1984 to 1991 under the Mulroney administration, said that Canada still fares far better than most of the world, especially considering other “walls of worry” such as the toxic U.S. presidential elections, the volatility in the Middle East, and the uncertainty brought about by Brexit.
“I look at this country, and when you walk down the streets and look at the state of the economy, it's not perfect—but when you compare it to what's going on in other parts of the world, this is a wonderful place to live,” Wilson said in an interview with the Financial Post
“Am I optimistic about Canada, and the capacity of Canada and Canadians to take advantage of the opportunities out there? Yes, I am very much an optimist,” he added.
Wilson is being honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the University of Toronto, where he currently sits as Chancellor.
Weak oil severely affected the federal coffers for the past few quarters, and the newly implemented mortgage regulatory revisions—which are projected to dampen home sales numbers—will cut into the nation’s economic strength for the foreseeable future.
In its October 19 report, the Bank of Canada revealed its lower growth forecasts for this year and the next “due in large part to slower near-term housing resale activity,” even as it maintained its key policy rate of 0.5 per cent. The BoC adjusted its forecasts to 1.1 per cent in 2016 and 2 per cent in 2017, downward from 1.3 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively.
The BoC also forecast a 0.3 per cent decline in real GDP by the end of 2018 as a result of the regulatory changes, with the economy getting back in shape only by the middle of that year.
Latest regulatory changes will support the Canadian economy—CMHC head
BoC: GDP to suffer declines under new rules