Too driven to quit

I’d say not everyone wants me to win…

Okay, so I’ve been busy. Get over it.

As you may have heard, the prime minister called an election last Sunday morning, about a year ahead of schedule, all on his own, and a week before Parliament was to resume its work. This was also a few days before the House of Commons finance committee, on which I sit, was to begin hearings on the effect of 40-year mortgages, and zero down payments, on the housing sector – in response to a motion that I tabled months ago.

Ah well. Not like we don’t already know the answer.

So, because I am a member of Parliament, I am in this campaign. Because I’m a controversial MP – having been tossed out on my ass by Stephen Harper for the crime of having a blog and speaking my mind – I’m more a target than many of my colleagues. This is why the PMO hand-picked a candidate to oppose me, overriding the wishes of local Conservatives, and is about to flood my constituency with ads, ministers, money and attitude.

Make no mistake about it, I am marked for political death – again. Whether you’re a Tory or not, you have to admit Harper is a controlling leader who hates uncontrollable people like me. You know. People with blogs. On the net. We’re not making this up.

This has all meant the past number of days have been intense as I prepare my defence, assemble my army, open a campaign office, launch a political web site (, write materials, feed the media and spend endless hours knocking on people’s doors. That’s a lot of fun. I’m sure you can imagine. Like a Jehovah’s Witness, with a worse message.

So, why am I running in this election? Do I like personal injury and pain that much?

Truth be told (and I assume this Greater audience is decidedly non-political), it has a great deal to do with the beliefs and positions I have articulated here. We’re in the early stages of a long and significant economic malaise which is having its most profound impact on the housing sector. But not just there. As I also forecast a few months ago, the commodities bubble has now also burst, sending oil skidding by almost $50 a barrel, along with the price of bullion (fool’s gold), and almost all metals and ag products.

There’s more, of course.

Global recession is just starting. European growth has slowed to a crawl. Japan’s in the shark fin soup. Even China is going into a post-Olympic slowdown, since its major exporting destination – USA – continues to lose altitude, on its way to the most significant financial crisis since the 1970s, possibly the 1930s.

The takeover a few days ago of Fannie and Freddie was, although expected, shocking and historic. The news this week of $1 billion per week losses by Lehman Brothers is almost unimaginable. The morass of federal finances in the States, with $11 per month being spent on Iraq alone, will take years – if not decades – to clean up and repair from.

This is the background against which a Canadian federal election is being fought. I am out to make a few points, like: Governments that spend too much end up hurting people, not helping them. This is inflationary and leads inevitably to higher interest rates – which is exactly where we are going.

Governments that relax lending standards to artificially pump up real estate equity and turn boom markets into bubbles, are destructive. George Bush let Alan Greenspan do exactly this, and Stephen Harper repeated the mistake with Jim Flaherty. This never ends well.

Governments that cut consumption taxes, instead of income taxes, only add to family financial stress, especially in a time of high energy costs. Canadian household disposable income has dropped in the past year – and that is exactly why the funk on real estate markets and with car sales will continue. This will not be reversed, until personal tax rates are lower and family cash flow is increased.

There’s more, of course, but I won’t bore you with stuff like the environment, the dwindling independence of MPs, food safety or monetary policy. The bottom line (modestly stated): Parliament needs more people like me, too suicidal to stop challenging authority, too egomaniacical to shut up, too driven to know when to quit.

This is why I’ve been AWOL.

Over the coming few weeks I will continue to post, since the housing market almost everywhere is entering a new stage. The danger is actually increasing, as a fool’s market develops in many centres. I will continue to read every comment which is published here, and wade in as required.

The election is October 14th. BTW, you must vote. For whomever. I’m not going through this crap to have you sit on the sidelines.


#1 Peter in TO on 09.11.08 at 10:13 am

Garth I like your plain spoken style.
I am very party neutral as I do not believe any party has the best interest of the CDN people at this point.
You say vote.
Is there any candidate you would endorse in Vaughan?



#2 MikeB on 09.11.08 at 10:16 am

Stephen Harper is well .. a typical conservative…great at BS and with a dagger behind his back waiting for his chance to pounce. While I think he may have the lead over Dione simply because of appearances and voice and speech patterns.. I think people should think twice and three times before voting Harper in. If you go back in history you will see convervatives dismantle this country and sell it off to the world. Mulroney.. Deiffenbaker…Harris … just a few in our lifetime. I’d rather have a loud mouth politician who tries to stop stupid things from happening than one who has got an agenda to jump into an election just to save his own political skin aka Harper.
There is nothing that Garth has posted here that is revelational but it is an effort of epic proportions without any real gratitude from the masses who might benefit from this blog.
As I have posted in previous blogs Fannie and Freddie is indeed historic as Garth puts it. Indeed he is correct that we are truly on the brink of a world recession not experienced by our generation.. Harper has seized the opportunity to save his political hide at the expense of his own country. His patriotism is about as phoney as the reality in reality shows.
Real Estate… forget about it… let it run its course …its day will come as will Harpers. Those who voted Harris must realize we are still reeling from his actions in both healthcare and education.

#3 duck1dong on 09.11.08 at 10:20 am

Formerly Calgary Rip off:

Nice comments Garth. I hope your party or the NDP gets in. As a dual citizen of the USA, I cannot vote in Canada, or my US citizenship will be taken away.

From the land of Stephen Harper, I hope your party CRUSHES the conservatives. The conservative party in Canada doesnt make sense. Maybe they should call it the American party because I dont see much difference between Alberta and Texas after having lived in both places. And B.C. is just a perverted form of an England wanna be.

The latest in the Herald includes an article by Mario T.(who else) that includes crap on how Alberta renters(specifically Calgary) are now becoming home owners. Im not sure why he even bothers with this garbage. Does he honestly think the working class are both wanting and able to purchase housing in Calgary? Who does he think he is fooling? Although my wife is keen to buy next June, Im much more reserved. A house is simply a place to live in. I dont care about equity. When you are dead you dont have money, so what difference does it make? “Ownership” is a delusion about housing. The house can catch fire, you can have intruders, there can be dogs, gangs, whatever. So you never really “own” it. When I think of home ownership this would entail 10 acres around the house, a locked gate to get onto the property, and a second gate around the property by the house, also locked and electric fence. I cannot afford this, so I am content with just the average shack with the eight foot between so if the neighbour screws up my house is torched too. With these thoughts in mind, housing is really nothing more than a place to be with good people, eat food and stuff inside it, and not freeze in the winter. I hope Mario and the others idiots in Calgary realize this. This reason is why real estate is not selling. They act like its some final resting place or something after the home is purchased. Maybe they should advertise coffins for sale because these homes are so expensive the mortgage payers will end up dying while paying their mortgages. Way to go Mario T., you piece of turd.

#4 Tom from Mississauga on 09.11.08 at 10:22 am

Good luck Garth! I’ve enjoyed your blog. Very informative. The Tory tide is rising so you do have your work cut out.

#5 prairiegopher on 09.11.08 at 10:30 am

I guess I’m first up. I agree with your assessment of Mr. Harper. Since he took office he has taken on the role of press secretary, party whip and PM all in one. Are people really that blind! I can’t get enough of Danny Williams. I wish he was in the leader’s debate, because I think it would be like an old fashioned “out behind the barn” brawl. The loser would be the schoolyard bully. Go Garth Go! Do your best and we’ll all be proud of ya’!

#6 Qc on 09.11.08 at 10:44 am

I enjoy your blog Garth, keep it up.
I bought a house in 94 with my wife & I made sure that if one of us lost our job, the other paycheck could cover the mortgage… A few yrs ago several friends, were upgrading & my wife wanted to also, I said no, we pay enough tx & utilities bill now, why more, the house keeps us dry & warm in winter( & it’s payed now). I usually don’t care about recessions, but this one has me worried. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

I voted PC once before, never again… I don’t care what’s painted red, I’ll vote for it. To me, it’s the ideology behind the party which counts.

#7 Future Expatriate on 09.11.08 at 10:51 am

Garth, if I could vote you know you’d have mine.

Someday soon.

#8 DJ on 09.11.08 at 11:20 am

I will vote for Garth ideology…..and I hope to have the chance!

#9 My_View on 09.11.08 at 11:22 am

“Edmonto and Toronto are the exceptions”

#10 $fromA$ia on 09.11.08 at 11:30 am

Garth, I thought gold would continue to rise with inflation. It didn’t, thank goodness I listened to you and didn’t buy any gold.

Garth, I am allot like you. I would say moderatly self rightous in belief.

Seems Harper would like total control of your balls.

I say hang em’ high and piss on Harper.

#11 Ed Sager on 09.11.08 at 11:38 am

Hang in there, Garth. In politics as in war, the truth is usually the first victim. Your opinions are extraordinarily valuable in these uncertain times.

#12 Automatic Earthling on 09.11.08 at 11:41 am

Garth, you’re brilliant. I absolutely concur that government needs more people with a clue and the guts to put their brains to work for the common good even if it means voicing unpopular ideas. I wish I lived in your riding so I could vote for you, but instead I’ll be choosing between the evil of two lessers where I live.

Best of luck; I’m rooting for you.

#13 Observer on 09.11.08 at 11:50 am

There you go making logical sense again. What are doing in politics?

#14 Economist on 09.11.08 at 11:52 am

Nice to hear a politician say that consumption taxes should go up and income taxes should come down! Not as easy a sell politically, but it sure makes good economic sense if you want an efficient economy.

For that reason alone I’d have to choose the Liberal Party this time around as that is what their Green Shift is doing.

#15 paulb on 09.11.08 at 12:04 pm

Good for you Garth! I don’t envy you but I do admire your persistence and honesty.

#16 confused and a little crazed on 09.11.08 at 12:19 pm

Well Garth,

I sorta listen to you. I waited until the commodities dropped 30 % before buying simply becauseI don’t believe the US dollar has any value. I didn’t expect it to go up much but I definitely didn’t expect it to go down another 20-25%. Luckily I still have another 30 plus years before I retire.

Oh I will vote either liberal or NDP . I mean really 0 down 40 year mort…mistakes are understandable but stupidity is no excuse. I don’t like the NDP because of the winter olympics 2010. Way too expensive for a 2 week paarty. I have some issue with liberal 2. Anybody know of a unbias website that indicates which parties accomplish wwhich projects…good or bad. Just the facts.

accountability iss always aa problem in politics

#17 lincoln on 09.11.08 at 12:19 pm

HORAY! Squiddly admits he does not hate EVERYONE!

squidly77 said…
i have not seen radley get bullied here..none what so ever
hes treated like an oiler fan making excuses on a flames blog after the flames shut out the oilers 5-0
he gets no respect thats all

i dont miss truman what so ever and now i dont feel the need to paste and dis-credit the other 97% of realtors who are good people

hes the bad apple in the fruit bowl

September 10, 2008 10:48 PM


Good news for you and to be liberals, SAVE US!

#18 kestral on 09.11.08 at 12:38 pm

Thanks for the update Garth, I wish you were in my riding so I could vote for you. Is there someone you endorse in Scarborough-Agincourt?

#19 shikko on 09.11.08 at 12:48 pm

@ #3
duck1dong said:
“Nice comments Garth. I hope your party or the NDP gets in. As a dual citizen of the USA, I cannot vote in Canada, or my US citizenship will be taken away.”

Not true! If you are a dual Canadian/US citizen, you can legally vote in BOTH COUNTRIES! This has been the case in the US for about 30 years, and has seemingly always been true in Canada. For more information, go see:

Quote: “Note that US law used to mandate loss of US citizenship for voting in a foreign election. However, this provision was struck down by the Supreme Court in Afroyim v. Rusk and was repealed by Congress in 1978.”

The bill repealing that law can be read here:

So, in short: contact your closest consulate (or go to:, and then VOTE IN NOVEMBER! But do it fast!

#20 Noz on 09.11.08 at 1:15 pm


That’s already the status quo in most other REAL democratic countries around the world…the people are FAR more involved than most North American citizens.

It’s ironic isn’t it…the US is constantly pumping its propaganda bullshit about democracy, feel this, free that….to the world’s largest pool of idiots who couldn’t find their asses with both hands.

God bless America for having so many sheeple in its midst.

#21 brazer on 09.11.08 at 1:16 pm

“The morass of federal finances in the States, with $11 per month being spent on Iraq alone, will take years – if not decades – to clean up and repair from.”

can you please correct the above amount?

#22 Eddie spaghetti on 09.11.08 at 1:18 pm

Atta boy, Garth! I’ve never been in lockstep with all your positions, but I’ll back an independent mind against Mr. Harpers’s Borg-style governance any day. Maybe you and Danny Williams should start (yet another) Conservative splinter party — this one for fiscal hawks who still believe in democracy.

#23 Noz on 09.11.08 at 1:20 pm


The takeover a few days ago of Fannie and Freddie was, although expected, shocking and historic. The news this week of $1 billion per week losses by Lehman Brothers is almost unimaginable. The morass of federal finances in the States, with $11 per month being spent on Iraq alone, will take years – if not decades – to clean up and repair from.

This is the background against which a Canadian federal election is being fought. I am out to make a few points, like: Governments that spend too much end up hurting people, not helping them. This is inflationary and leads inevitably to higher interest rates – which is exactly where we are going.

The US financial institution had no choice but to bail out these full-scam companies. If they didn’t, the Asians and Russians would never ever invest in US treasury again…supposedly the most reliable and strongest backed entity in the financial world.

The US would lose face not to mention no more money to fund the war it has perpetrated around the world. What a joke of a world we live in…6 billion people’s lives in the hands of a few thousand.

Russian “privately owned firms” have 21% stake in Fannie/Freddie…does anyone think they don’t want their money back?

And the gullibles think we have free market, free economy.

If anyone wants a nice lesson in debt and what this bailout is all about, listen to this…,Bloomberg.mp3

#24 Ultraman on 09.11.08 at 1:22 pm

Garth, one more vote for you. You’re definitively a nut case and it’s good to have you around. I wish you a long blog life.

#25 Noz on 09.11.08 at 1:25 pm


For some reason you remind me of Mr. George Galloway…I don’t know your thoughts on him but you remind me of him.

#26 Al on 09.11.08 at 1:31 pm

While I don’t want you to quit blogging, I would like to suggest you quit blogging for awhile. Focus on the election as that is what matters right now. Is there someone you could get to take over blogging for you in the short term?

#27 jelly on 09.11.08 at 1:40 pm

Automatic Earthling,

Spot on assessment of Garth,
Well put, I totally agree…

#28 MikeB on 09.11.08 at 1:40 pm

Toronto Real Estate Update from the ground floor
Still continue to get a boatload of listings from one of my agents. I asked her how many were relists from a list of 8.
4 relists …all had expired and all but one had relisted just now at a huge decrease, one over a 100K below original price from months ago. If that is not a correction I don’t know what is. Can’t for the life of me understand how people assert that Toronto is not over priced… gotta be smoking something with that conclusion.

#29 lgre on 09.11.08 at 1:45 pm

Good luck Garth, too bad I’m no longer in Milton or you would of had my vote.

#30 WetCoaster on 09.11.08 at 1:50 pm

Garth, figured you’d be up to your arm-pits in alligators. I think the ‘winners’ have already been chosen and the outcome of this ‘election’ has already been decided. I do admire your drive and commitment to your ideals. You’re right, parliament needs more people like you. (Sadly, I don’t see that forthcoming).

Illegitimi non carborundum.

#31 dd on 09.11.08 at 2:01 pm


The country needs more people like you running for office. At least you have a different opinion.

As for you comment … “Harper is a controlling leader who hates uncontrollable people like me. You know. People with blogs. On the net.” … Let us not forget that Jean Chretien ran a tight ship. He was very controlling too.

#32 Its Coming!! on 09.11.08 at 2:12 pm

more stats to prove whats really going on in this country, this is a great read guys, lets here some comments on this article,

#33 Rob from Onterrible on 09.11.08 at 2:21 pm

Hi Garth,

I wish you much success in winning against the Conservative candidate. I agree with you that Canada needs more independent minded politicians and not MPPs that “tow the line”. I can vote in Halton (live in Burlington) and just sent you a fax but over lunch I was thinking about who to vote for and have a serious suggestion:

The Liberals will not win big unless your ads focus on Stephen Harper being Canada’s version of George W. Bush. Harper needs to go and Canada needs to get out Afganistan. That’s my 2 cents worth.

Best of luck. When will you be in Burlington?

Regards, Robert B.

#34 Dawn in Calgary on 09.11.08 at 2:21 pm

Good for you Garth — I wish you the best. Me, I’m spoiling my ballot. Living in Alberta, it’s really the only choice.

Back to real estate, seems not everyone has heard that prices are actually dropping;

$459,900 for a 3bdrm bungalow with an unfinished basement. I can only shake my head. The first bungalow we purchased in 1999 (only 9 years ago) was 3 bdrm with a finished basement, a bigger lot and cost $78K. Different province, but the size and condition of the homes are very similar. The greed in this city is unsurpassed (ok, except maybe by BC’s RE industry)

#35 Mike.Slob on 09.11.08 at 2:34 pm

Hi Canadians!
In every Western country in the world you can see that RE Market(2007/2008) has price correction down between 10% to 30%:
USA,UK,New Zealand,Australia,Spain,Ireland,
Global recession is just starting.Europe,Japan and China
have slowdown,and US is in big financial trouble.
But Canada is different!However what coming are
Tightening of loans,credits and mortgages.
No more Zero down and 40 years mortgage.
Higher property taxes between 5% and 10%(Mississauga will increase taxes 10% every-year
for next 4 years).
Less new Immigrants,Less visitors,and less investments because Canada has the highest taxes and insurances in the World (just after Sweden).
Net Avg.salary in Toronto Area is between $2,500 and $3,500 per month,so how you can
support still increase of prices in GTA.

Or could you see TSX stock market:

TSX is down about 20% from high pick in June/08
Oil price is down about 32% from Jul/08
Gold price is down about 28% from Mar/08
Silver price is down about 48% from Mar/08
CAD currency lost over 18% of value from Nov/07.

RE Market in GTA,Vancouver and Alberta will hit
bad Crash. Remember 2010 after Olimpics in Vancouver,we can see loss between 40%-50%.
Also in Alberta and Ontario RE Market will have loss between 15% to 25%.

Facts about RE Market in Toronto Area :
*From monthly report for August/08 from TREB:
Sales in the GTA declined 22%,and 31 per cent increase of inventory,still avg.price up 1%.
The next six months(Feb/09) you’ll see only double digits decline of RE sales in GTA.

Some persons still buying properties and stocks..
god help their soul.

#36 Mark on 09.11.08 at 2:38 pm


If you ran for PM – i’d vote for you! But Im drawn, I like you – but dont like your leader.

But then, he’s the best out of a bad bunch..

I *Will* vote, i’m just undecided at the moment as to who for.

#37 pbrasseur on 09.11.08 at 2:41 pm


You are correct, when it comes to the economy the CPC are bad. But the liberals can be worse and the NDP worse yet. For me that’s what it comes down to: choosing the party and the politicians who will do the least damage. So far that seems to be the CPC, as imperfect as they are. At least that’s the way I see it from my rather libertarian point of view.

If you were in my riding I’d probably vote for you though.

I’m with you on denouncing the RE bubble and the role of the government(s) in making in worse than it should have been if the laws of the market could have played freely.

But frankly nobody ears that message, not even in the US where in the midst of Freddie and Fannie collapse you still ear politicians talk about the “need to promote access to property”.

I also think, as you do, that we are entering some very tough economic times, including here in Canada but especially where I live here in Québec. There’s even a possibility that things could get really nasty, don’t want to bore you with the details of all the negatives (low productivity, low private investment, aging demographics, high taxes, crumbling infrastructures, imploding health care and public education, high government and individuals debt, etc…) but when you connect all these dots and add the declining RE market, declining industrial base and exports, declining commodity market, high inflation and a slowing world economy I just don’t see how we can avoid a major blow to our economy and to our already crumbling nanny state.

Scary, strangely enough nobody seems to realize how close we are to falling into a severe recession, things are so calm (…) I think a lot of people are in for a big surprise when things turn nasty.

Anyway best of luck to all.

#38 BBC on 09.11.08 at 2:41 pm

Keep up the good work. I am thankful that you are tireless in your work but a little (selfishly) sad that it will take you away from your website which is part of my daily reading. You give the Canadian Public clarity and truthful insights with regards to our economy and its policies. I am also party neutral and vote for the individuals….. you have my vote!

#39 Mike.Slob on 09.11.08 at 2:47 pm

Garth, you’re the best.

Good luck Garth at October 14th 2008.
I’m voting for you,forever.
Thank you for your truthfull and real Web-blog,which is unique and only one in Canada.

#40 islander on 09.11.08 at 2:50 pm

Best of luck, Garth. You’re about the only politician I’d consider voting for of any political stripe, regardless of political affiliation.

#41 VanMark on 09.11.08 at 3:18 pm

I had high hopes for Harper because he is a trained economist (as am I) and former head of the National Citizens Coalition, which has done a lot of good for Canadians fighting for political freedom and against union injustices. But he has disappointed me with his arrogance and mistakes. I’ll still vote PC, not that it matters much in my riding, as Hedy Fry is queen.

Good luck Garth, I hope you get re-elected.

#42 Kal El on 09.11.08 at 3:35 pm

Atta boy, Garth. Keep swinging for us little folk….

#43 No Fool.... on 09.11.08 at 4:44 pm

Garth, let me say that if you ran for PM, you’d have my vote for sure, 100%. We mock the US political system, but it might be just as bad up here, just a bit less corrupt (maybe). Why is it that the best man never gets the lead job?

I’m a Mississauga transplant in Calgary (been here two years) and I’ve see all types of “political” B.S. from both the Libs and the Convervatives. I personally don’t agree with everything that Harper’s done, but the main alternative’s leader (your leader) is a poor leading candidate. Sorry, I hate to say it.

I have trouble voting for a leader who can’t assert himself in any way, can’t form an opinion (except one of constant – devil’s advocate – oppostion), and one who wilts under criticism. Harper’s wrong a lot of the time, and what he says/does is often unpopular internally….but at least he has the ability to be respected internationally. He’s firm. He doesn’t waver his opinion based on “media generated popular demand”. I admire that. Maybe I had a tough father, maybe I just like being told what to do (neither are true), but strong leadership qualities are more important than having the conent wrong 1/4 of the time.
I also believe that blaming Harper for what’s going to happen in the Canadian housing industry is wrong. This issue has been brewing & building well before PC times and I don’t think that dropping the interest rates in the last year have been the cause of much other than the final blow. The blame for the impending housing mess lies on every single person that spent beyond their means, every politician who didn’t speak up and the VPs and CEOs of the banks who gave away oodles of cash to people they know they shouldn’t have.
Garth, you don’t meet any of those criteria, which automatically puts you in my good books, and your fact-based attitude towards politics pushes you to the top of my already short list, but I just don’t agree that the PC’s caused all of this.

We need more from the other 99% of our politicians. You’re the 1%.

#44 Rob on 09.11.08 at 4:58 pm

Enough politicking, did anyone ever comment on this analysis with anything other than “it was commissioned by the BCREA” — seems the rent = cost of ownership base numbers are just a tad wacky.

#45 MRoz on 09.11.08 at 5:18 pm

Hi Garth…..Thanks for all your efforts….your nerve, your blog, your persistance and your enthusiasm to educate and inform. Because of you, I’ve been inspired for the first time to join a political party(Liberal!) and will be actively volunteering during this election to promote the party’s strength (my MP is Dr. Carolyn Bennett) and do my bit to keep the conservatives at bay. We all need to participate actively!
Good luck to you and as they say, keep the faith!

#46 squidly77 on 09.11.08 at 5:35 pm

Edmonton home prices see biggest drop in 23 years

#47 pitte sue on 09.11.08 at 6:44 pm

Give ’em hell, Garth! I’m on your side.

Your blog is on my top three… keep the articles coming, when you have the time.

#48 3rdman on 09.11.08 at 7:45 pm

The problem is there’s no more right wing Reform Party ‘scare factor’ for Ontario/Quebec and the East in this election.

Harper reminds me of Nixon an imperialist-style control freak. Harpergate anybody..?

#49 Chris L on 09.11.08 at 8:02 pm

I guess I’m a conservative at heart, but I have enjoyed your show (not sure if it’s on anymore), and enjoy your views overall on money, etc. I also think that the Government is upside down from all sides. It would be nice to have someone in (whom, I don’t know) that would make it right for once. The government was never for and by the people for my entire lifetime! Taxes are way too high and they keep people down. Why do I need to give my money to people that don’t know how best to spend it? Why should 50% of my money go to the common piggy bank?

Anyway, I’m glad to see real estate come backwards and despite owning 2 investment properties myself, it gets the banks off my butt when I pick up another one. If we all paid less for real estate then we wouldn’t have to work for the banks! Let’s all agree that real estate is worth less! Greed….it’s why you assume your house is worth more then what you paid for it because time has passed!

#50 dotava on 09.11.08 at 8:26 pm

Garth I wish that you get re-elected; Canada need more open-minded people like you.
I am not member of Liberal party – but all other parties (even former Progressive Conservatives) are on opposite side of “Steve” and as Mr. Williams said – if present government stay in power – will be the biggest step-back in Canadian history.
GOOD LUCK TO ALL BUT CONSERVATIVES – every lie must come to the end – ABC makes lot of sense.

#51 Fly2112 on 09.11.08 at 8:32 pm

A breath of fresh air… You got my vote!

#52 MBS-Economy on 09.11.08 at 8:40 pm

From the frontline, lender’s perspective…. Sept/Oct looks to be the real turning point, the pipeline is shrinking faster than many can believe. Frontline veteren sales brokers are already advising us that a crash is imminent as very few properties on the market is moving in Ontario/BC compared to the past 10 years. Many won’t hear/see about it until Dec because stats are always 1-2 months behind. Those that work in the industry know what’s going on but many won’t discuss it.

#53 lincoln on 09.11.08 at 9:10 pm

If you were me, then Id vote for you, GO ME!

Voting on Garth is the brest. Of couse all this is not so bad, imagine if mccain wins USA election, then dies, then that moose hunting hand bag Palin becomes President..WHAT! OH NO! She is a super nobody, and nobody can be president!


#54 LuckyLondoner on 09.11.08 at 9:26 pm

I agree that both Chretien and Harper ruled their parties with hammers and admire Garth’s independence and really appreciate his efforts on illuminating the state of RE. And I am not really sure if I trust any of the Parties to do what they say.

I wish he would buck the party line on one thing his party is pushing this time round – but alas he probably feels the science is settled on Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change.

I beg to differ – my research shows there is a growing group of independent scientists questioning the theory:

My fear is that additional taxes will be to the coming downturn what the “Smoot Hawley Act” was to the 30’s (and you can ask the Europeans – they hate Carbon Taxes).

In a downturn we need lower income AND low consumption taxes.

Even if you are a ‘true believer’ that CO2 is going to have a significant effect one should consider that there are alternate approaches:

Hope you let this post through – all sides should be heard on this important issue.

#55 Sam on 09.11.08 at 9:40 pm

Rob from Onterrible – head the nail on the head when he said :
“The Liberals will not win big unless your ads focus on Stephen Harper being Canada’s version of George W. Bush. Harper needs to go and Canada needs to get out Afganistan.”


Best of luck Garth. I live in Oakville . How can I vote for you ? I hope this kick these W. Bush loving – American (bastards) ass kissers out of business. Go get ’em!!

#56 Nathan in Edmonton on 09.11.08 at 10:58 pm

Best of luck to you Garth, this country needs more politician that tell it like it is; however, the sad reality is the sheeple is this country are the same as the sheeple in the states — they don’t want the truth, they want politicians to tell them everything is great and to keep spending while the illusion is still around them.
Harper’s no idiot and he knows that calling this election now will probably get him the majority government he wants — especially given that he’s up against the suprisenly uncharismatic Dion who is peddling something we Canadians just love — another tax.
It’s too bad the Liberals can’t get it together — I’ll love to see Harper go, and had he waited a year for the election the Liberals may have ousted him, given we will then be in a recession and no Liberal with brains will be talking about a carbon tax but maybe a carbon credit.

#57 pjwlk on 09.11.08 at 11:32 pm

It’s coming & Rob:

I didn’t read the whole report but from what I did read I think it grossly understates just how over-priced all real estate is right now. Who really cares if prices are in line with rents? It’s affordability that really matters and rents just as over-priced as homes! There are going to be a lot of condos on the market soon with no buyers and that means unintentional landlords and falling rents…

#58 Stephen Whyte on 09.12.08 at 12:01 am

To Garth Turner M.P. :

Flash Traffic….. (EAM)Emergency Action Message.

Red Alert…..Red Alert

Today Freddy Mack and Fanny May Take over by the US Government resulted in a 1.4 Trillion Credit Default swap on Monday,because it could not make its debt payments on $5 trillion in bonds and mortgage backed securities. A bailout package was undertaken by the US government and international finance authorities to prevent the meltdown of the 600 trillion-1.168 quadrillion derivative market. Most of the investment banks, bond insurers and chartered banks in the US and Europe could not come up with the payments on Monday afternoon, because they were highly leveraged.If payment was not made a Second CDS payment would have occurred today (Thursday) of 10 Trillion and 20 Trillion Tomorrow!!! This would result in a cascade failure of the global financial system. If the amounts were transferred into gold there would have been no losses. That means that Wall Street would not have opened on Tuesday leading to a world wide financial panic. The DJA would have plunged from 11,000 to 1000 in one day!!!! (source-patriot radio news hour- Thursday Sept 11, 2008-All American

The US government just added 1.4 trillion to its national debt in one day. Total US debt may have gone from 8.9 Trillion to between 15-40+ Trillion. We are approaching a 100 trillion dollar meltdown in the US and the destruction of the dollar! Can you say Hyper-inflationary Depression?

Numerous bank failures are starting to occur in the US. One investment bank, Lehman Brothers could fail this weekend as well as Washington Mutual (Wahmu) which
could result in a run on the bank!

Debt markets analysts are saying that the value of the real estate market has dropped 70%. Home prices in the US is dropping 3% per week. The $5.4 trillion is worth 30 cents on the dollar. The Commercial Real Estate market is also failing. Borrowers are either unable to pay back the loan due to weak economic activity, slowing demand for office or retail space, business tenant bankruptcies or commercial banks pulling their financing! . Bank of America’s exposure is 330 billion. If they lost 20% it would be $66 billion. There are estimates that it could lose 60% . The Small Business Administration(SBA) could be broke since it underwrote the loans. If the multiple bank failures continue to occur the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation(FDIC) could also be insolvent? The US Government and the Federal Reserve Board are looking to drop interest rates to keep the economy going while at the same time trying to bail out these agencies.

All American suspect’s that gold confiscation is near and the creation of a world wide currency could happen very soon!

#59 Lance on 09.12.08 at 12:04 am

Just tossed you a small donation to help you replace those signs, Garth.

Go get ’em. Can you be my MP too? :)

Edmonton, AB

#60 Alan Yeung on 09.12.08 at 12:48 am

Keep up the good fight, Garth. You’re an inspiration.

#61 jelly on 09.12.08 at 1:05 am

Noz, regarding #25,
Garth should be really complimented saying he reminds you of George Galloway. George is amazingly intelligent and is second to none as far as I am concerned as a debater. For those of you that do not know him, he is a Member of Parliament (at least I think he still is) in the UK (Scotland actually) Anyone want to see what happens when you piss off a Scotsman? Go on You Tube and see what happens when the US Senate try and attack him regarding some alleged shady practices regarding Iraq and oil. The best thing ever, he totally makes fools of them all, these corrupt officials don’t know what to say to him. George also gives amazing anti-war speeches and is really funny as well as interesting. I have also seen George mop up the floor with interviewers when they say silly statements.
This guy is totally a hero in my books, and I do not say that lightly. I can’t think of anyone else in today’s disreputable politics (not you Garth) that I think much of. I know this is off topic but in today’s dumbing down of society and media trying to get us interested in stupid things such as various celebrities, people should listen to what George Galloway has to say and they will be wiser for it.

#62 jelly on 09.12.08 at 1:15 am

Sorry Garth, I also wish you all the best in your efforts,
you are the only politician besides Gallaway I would like to meet. Integrity and Courage, how rare, how the hell did you get wrapped up in politics?
Are there more like you in the vipers den?

#63 WetCoaster on 09.12.08 at 2:43 am

Harper reminds me of Nixon an imperialist-style control freak. Harpergate anybody..?

Nah, it’s lamer than that. The epitome of Harper was captured in a political cartoon. It showed GWBush driving a tank, and Harper was like a little kid in a child’s side seat with a little honky horn, pretending to drive with his plastic steering wheel. He had a real goofy look on his face. A perfect syncophant.

Harper can’t be a control freak. He’s a low-level gopher.

Just sayin’.

#64 David on 09.12.08 at 2:58 am

Falling into disfavour with someone like Stephen Harper, should be worn as a badge of honour. Having a minority government, at the very least, kept Harper on a deservedly short leash with a choke collar. No one was clamouring for an election, but most likely Harper figured last best chance to get a majority government before the deep recession sets in, the housing bubble bursts or the rate of core inflation becomes all too noticeable on Canadians pocket books.
For a self proclaimed and self styled “policy wonk” Harper is little more than a petty partisan ideologue and hardly a nice introspective Burkean Tory. The empty and non substantive American style media image manipulation only adds to my belief that the man is a total empty suit with a big nasty agenda irrelevant to the actual concerns and problems of real live Canadian middle class families. Harper can put on all the blue v-neck sweaters and smile for the Kodak moments all he wants. That crap plays well among seemingly brain dead American voters, who have given up completely on the public sphere arena.

#65 charles on 09.12.08 at 6:59 am

The following is from an article on the web site titled “Keynesian Chickens Coming Home”. This article was written on Jan. 28, 2008. (I think this article does an excellent job of explaining why we are in the deep financial doo doo which we now find ourselves.)

“Chicago’s irreverent financial commentator, Bill King, wrote last week in The King Report that, “The Fed’s panic intervention yesterday — rate cuts before the open — is ‘rank amateur’ intervention.” He goes on to observe that Bank of America economist, Mickey Levy, made one of the most astonishing comments he’s heard in a long time: “The Fed knows its credibility would be damaged if the economy slipped into recession.” King’s response is: “When did recession become an abhorrent, avoid-at-all-costs phenomenon?”

Bull’s-eye! When indeed did a recession become something that we absolutely must avoid? What is it that the Fed, for the past decade, has feared about a recession? Recessions have been common throughout our history, and the country has always ridden them out because its political and economic leaders understood that such a “riding out” was necessary to purge the system of its excesses and thus be able to return to real growth again. What is different about this time that would make the Fed so desperate to avoid going through this healthy purging?

Here is the difference. What is unfolding around us (and actually has been unfolding since 2000) is that the Keynesian chickens set loose in 1936 are coming home to roost. Long term consequences are upon us, and they are bad consequences that have their roots in the fallacy of Keynesianism as a legitimate doctrine of economic thought.

This illegitimacy of Keynesian thought is partly tied up in its irresponsibly truncated sense of history. It’s intellectual and political leaders throughout the West have, for the past 72 years, defaulted upon the most important responsibility they possess as leaders — the necessity to think long range. John Maynard Keynes set the tone for this terrible default in the 1930s. In response to his critics’ concern over what effect his inflationary economics would have in the long run, he scornfully replied, “In the long run, we’re all dead.” And unfortunately such an outrageous irrationality sufficed for the modern punditry so in search of a world in which they could have their cake and eat it.

This Keynesian pseudo-wisdom allowed the pundits of the West to believe that shrinking one’s sense of history and responsibility down to one’s own lifespan was, in some way, now permissible. It allowed Western punditry to blank out on the future — which is one of the perennial and predominant sins of humankind. As a result, we today have to suffer an ever-increasing boom-bust economy because, of course, we’re not all dead. The Keynesian generation’s children and their children ad infinitum continue on. There’s a thing called posterity.

From its start in the 30s, Keynesian economics was a brazen, short range endeavor in seeking something for nothing mingled with embarrassing self-delusion. Why it all sounds absolutely marvelous, one can imagine FDR replying to his Brain Trust when informed of the wonders to be worked with Keynes’ “new economics.” If capitalism has reached its mature stage and can no longer produce enough purchasing power, then we in Washington must step in and get the system going again. If people don’t have enough money, then all we have to do is print up more and our problems will be solved. It’s really all very simple, isn’t it? Our growth can actually be as great as we want it to be. Our wealth will be unlimited. We will usher in the mil­lennium. Oh, happy day! How could we not have thought of this before?

Stripped of all the eloquent conceptualizations and slick technical jargon, this was the great “innovation,” the great “revolutionary insight” of Keynes: If we want to become wealthier as a nation and avoid economic recessions, then all we need to do is print up more money.

Today’s financial tremors erupting throughout the world’s economies are trying to tell us that this Keynesian paradigm is, like all huckster schemes of “easy wealth,” a fraud. Sadly only those discerning few, who understand that there are rules to the Universe and its bounty, are listening. Thus big trouble now lies ahead, and this coming trouble is a result of over 70 years of Keynes’ disciples printing up more money to somehow make us all more “prosperous.” As a result, the grand Keynesian theoretical flaw is now manifesting in our lives, which is as follows:

Central bank credit expansion ultimately leads to massive “debt saturation” and “malinvestment” throughout the economy, which reverses the boom that the credit expansion was meant to perpetuate. Ultimately, the system must not just disinflate via Fed interest rate maneuvering; it must go through a severe purging so as to eliminate the monster levels of debt and malinvestment before a genuine growth cycle can be reignited. Such a purging leads to a mega-crisis that brings on a depression, a runaway inflation, or a combination of the two that is called stagflation. Which one of the three occurs will depend upon how the political and monetary authorities in charge at the time react to the events that unfold.

This then is what is different this time, and it is what the Fed fears. In the early stages of all credit expansions, businesses flourish, and the Fed is able to manipulate the expansion’s boom-bust nature in a tolerable way. But once an economy becomes “debt saturated” from the massive injections of credit over time, borrowing and confidence drop off. This causes the rate of money supply growth to decline by negating the central bank’s power to pyramid credit, which brings severe disinflationary pressures no matter what the Fed does with interest rates. If the preceding build-up of debt is severe and the resultant decrease of confidence widespread, such pressures then morph into a far more serious crisis.

Down deep, the Fed and its circle of monetary bureaucrats fear that this time the fundamental buoys of the economy could indeed collapse and usher in a dreadful credit deflation that would suck America and the world into the vortex of Depression. It is this dread that is undoubtedly keeping Bernanke awake at night.

In all the recessions since World War II, the Fed has been able to maneuver economic forces in America to induce recovery. The prior inflationary booms were not outrageous, the nation was a solid creditor in the world, there was a substantial cache of savings among the people, etc. It was a matter only of squeezing the speculative excesses out of the system. Some prolonged pain was required, but nothing that could not be endured by men and women who had a “life is tough” philosophy instilled into them in their youth.

This time it is all very different. The prior boom has been quite egregious, America is no longer a creditor nation, there are no savings left in the mattresses of the people, and the Age of Aquarius generation is not very appreciative of the “life is tough” adages of its parents. It subscribes to the code of immediacy instead. “We want what we want, and we want it right now,” is the popular phrasing.

In 1980, Paul Volker broke the back of the 70s stagflation by raising interest rates to 18%. This restored credibility to the dollar, choked off inflation, and threw the economy into a vicious recession. But it also allowed the economy to purge large amounts of the debt and malinvestment stultifying it, which allowed us to eventually return to health and REAL growth. This is the role of a recession. It is a beneficial housecleaning. Unfortunately Ben Bernanke will not be able to clean today’s house as Volker did in 1980. Far too much debt and malinvestment have accumulated. Far too many other nations are implicated. Far too little savings and mental toughness remain.

This bodes very badly for us as a nation. As Bill King puts it, “Recession has become dreadful because of the amount of debt, dubious investments, derivatives and crappy paper that infests the U.S. financial system. Fear is high that any debt and consumer retrenchment, which are both natural and NECESSARY (for long-term health), will quickly chain react into the dreaded debt deflation and system implosion.”

“System implosion!” This is what gnaws at the back of the brains of Bernanke’s Boys. Our debt and derivatives monsters are gargantuan. The daisy chain of banks, caught up in becoming 21st century casinos instead of prudent portfolio managers, is ominous. There are thousands of explosive mines planted into our economy by seven decades of power lusting political regimes and corporate cavaliers brandishing a know-nothing regard for the next generation. Any one of these mines could begin the chain reaction into the vortex. So Bernanke’s Boys are living life on the edge of their seats right now. Humans in these kinds of predicaments are prone to panic, and that is what it appears the Fed has just done, and will surely do again several times before the recessionary cycle of stagflation and pseudo-growth we are entering plays itself out.”

If anyone wishes to read the entire article, the following is the link to it:

Keynesian Chickens Coming Home

#66 Al on 09.12.08 at 8:08 am


From Wikipedia

“Keynes’s theory suggested that active government policy could be effective in managing the economy. Rather than seeing unbalanced government budgets as wrong, Keynes advocated what has been called countercyclical fiscal policies, that is policies which acted against the tide of the business cycle: deficit spending when a nation’s economy suffers from recession or when recovery is long-delayed and unemployment is persistently high—and the suppression of inflation in boom times by either increasing taxes or cutting back on government outlays.”

The concept is that the government saves during strong economic periods to create a reserve to spend during periods of recession (which is a good idea for individuals/families as well.) The problem is that governments continued deficit spending during the strong economic periods (as did individuals). Keynesian policies will work if implemented properly, but that hasn’t happened in recent history.

It should be remembered the great depression (the worst modern economic period) happened before Keynesian economics. I think we are going to see if the recent mis-implementation of Keynesian economics provides us with a new low.

#67 Mylene on 09.12.08 at 9:29 am

Have always voted NDP. Will continue to do so based on the fundamental beliefs of the party and not the leader. Hopefully, one day the Leader will represent the full values of the political party. It is the best of all 3 options given the other EVIL- Conservatives and opinion neutral Liberal doesn’t do it for me. The conservatives represent a dangerous elite that are pro-capital in the interest of 5% of the population. Liberals are too in between NDP and the Conservatives and get jerked around. This country and specifically this province needs the fire and demand for democracy we see in European Nations. The French government is afraid of its people (they demand, have high expectations for social fairness and revolt if not pleased by what is offered) so they serve them. The Canadian people are afraid of their government so they let themselves be bullied. It’s all about the Canadian population too. Most of the population is from developing nations and are looking for peace, not war after the casualties they see in their respective countries. It’s the dilemma for Canada. NOT ENOUGH REVOLT!!!!! NOT ENOUGH DEMANDING!!!! NOT ENOUGH BELIEF IN “I DESERVE CERTAIN RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS”!!!!!

#68 pjwlk on 09.12.08 at 10:22 am

New home prices

(percentage change July 2007 to July 2008/June to July)

Canada total +2.7 / +0.1

St. John’s. N.L. +24.3 / +3

Halifax +7.3 / +0.3

Charlottetown +1.6 / 0.0

Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton, N.B. +3.1 / +0.9

Quebec +5.4 / 0.0

Montreal +5.7 / +0.1

Ottawa-Gatineau +4.3 / 0.0

Toronto and Oshawa, Ont. +3.7 / +0.1

Hamilton, Ont. +2 / +0.1

St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont. +5.1 / -0.1

Kitchener, Ont. +2 / -0.2

London, Ont. +3.5 / 0.0

Windsor, Ont. +1.5 / 0.0

Winnipeg +7 / +0.2

Regina +29.6 / +2.6

Saskatoon +13.1 / +0.2

Calgary -0.3 / -0.2

Edmonton -5.3 / -0.2

Vancouver +1.6 / 0.0

Victoria -0.1 / +0.3

Source: Statistics Canada

#69 David on 09.12.08 at 10:41 am

pjwlk on 09.11.08 at 11:32 pm It’s coming & Rob:

I didn’t read the whole report but from what I did read I think it grossly understates just how over-priced all real estate is right now. Who really cares if prices are in line with rents?

If you take Toronto the rents COULD NOT cover the mortgages and thus would not be cash flow positive and so toronto is overvalued. I bet the situation is the same across Canada. If you can not rent to cover your mortgage the homes is overvalued. I see many dreamers who are “landlord” rookies who try to rent out their condo for $1800 for a two bedroom where others are renting similar for $925. Of course these day dreamer don’t rent it out and were lucky enough to find a greater fool. This time there is no fool.

#70 Bobby in Victoria on 09.12.08 at 10:45 am

The NDP couldn’t run a hot dog stand! Given their performances in both BC and Ontario I doubt we will ever see another NDP government.
Given that this is a real estate forum, I would suggest that the best way to make homes more affordable here in BC is to vote in another NDP government. Investment would flee the province driving down real estate values.
We’ve seen it before.

#71 Andrew toronto on 09.12.08 at 10:55 am

Garth , we need to see more from the liberal party in terms of WHY its important for canadians to buy into the green shift .. there is ample proof the conservatives could care less , this needs to be conveyed better to the public. Has well Dion has to speak more with conviction.. WHAT the consequences will be if we fail to act now… WHEN it will become reality ,,, HOW we will do all this .. If we fail we are failing our children and grandchildren .. we need the vision to look beyond short term.. but the vision and wisdom to think long term and lasting benifits.. I ‘am not wishing but praying for you guys and my childrens futures .. all the best ,, I appreciate all your hard work..

#72 Carm on 09.12.08 at 11:30 am

Hi Garth

Too bad most politicians don’t look out for the consumer like you do. Best of luck on your campaign. I came across this interesting article in the Globe and Mail on how these builders are trying to fool consumers into thinking that a 900 sq ft. condo these days offers more than a 1200 sq ft. condo in the past. I guess buying furniture that Mini Me would find comfortable is the way to go these days into convincing yourself that you made a good investment.

#73 squidly77 on 09.12.08 at 12:03 pm

Conservatives..worship the rich people
NDP..when they embrace a leader that lied so he could receive subsidized housing when he was a student depriving someone truly needing it are a running joke
Liberals..the west always works when we have a sitting liberal government..but what a lousy leader

i like the majority of people are sick of politicians
yeah yeah yeah..this is the greatest place in the world to live we are told over and over


in France and Europe the politicians fear the people
in the Americas the people fear the government

Mr.Turner , i commend you for standing up and making your constituents opinions and frustrations known
you are an individual amongst drones

out here in Alberta we will be falsely reminded over and over again how the liberals brought down the entire global energy industry single handed by introducing the national energy program (impossible as OPEC is just a little bit bigger)

when Alberta boomed in the late seventies early eighties
Trudeau (1968-84) liberals were in power
with a short run by Joe Clark in 1979-80

when Alberta crashed in the early eighties we were taken apart by the pc government of Mulroney 1984-93

when the Chretien/Martin liberals took over in 1993-2006 Albertas economy began it surge upwards once again

since the pcs were put back into a position of power under Harper in 2006, its been all down hill once again for Alberta, and we will surely end in a crash

think about it !

Alberta always prospers under liberal rule
Alberta always suffers under pc rule

just look at the dates and who was in power when the shifts in our economy happened..surprised ?

#74 MikeB on 09.12.08 at 12:11 pm

The alleged experts at BMO are predicting some housing cooling in Canada… finally they at least admit it….BUT they feel it will be nothing like the U.S. and may only net a correction of 10% . As they put it we are in better shape than the US re credit and shoddy lending practices .
Do I buy this?? Not on your life ….. With Lehman teetering and an announcement imminent this weekend we may see a very pronounced impact on our entire economy within weeks… probably before the Canadian election.. stinky Harper… Mylene is bang on correct about the Conservatives …..
As for houses in Toronto…. there are alot of relists that never sold over the last four or so months.. That won’t improve… As Garth has predicted inventories will rise and then people who have to sell will lower expectations but like the greed oil companies it takes longer for prices to drop than go up thats for sure..

#75 Mike B formerly just Mike on 09.12.08 at 2:36 pm

David Dodge come clean and points out on Report On Business that they all new this credit crisis would happen but “It was very hard to get reform because there was the perception that if you make mortgages more accessible, you are helping homeowners, but what you’re really doing is driving up home prices.”
Yes indeed falsely increasing home prices… obviously in the US BUT also in Canada as all of us know prices are just ridiculous. Of course tell this to realtor here in Toronto and they turn their heads and say price is driven by supply and demand. But if demand is created and doesn’t really exist than prices go up artificially.

#76 Dr Phil on 09.12.08 at 2:51 pm

Garth best of luck with the campaign and elections!
Keep up the good work!

Lehman seeks Greater Fool….

So sad…. no tax payer money govt bail out for Lehman Bros. A 158 year old firm on the verge of implosion. Is there no one out there who sees any value here? While the market cap is $2.86B, Lehman has a nice bonus pool of $3B which is worth more than the market cap. That extrapolates to a nice $124K bonus for each of Lehman’s 24,000 employees. I wonder what the employee distribution plan for this $3B looks like.

The top brass at these financial houses are no doubt quite handsomely remunerated for their excellent skills in merchant banking and growing share holder value. Should the US tax payer bear the brunt of mistakes these highly paid top class professionals have made? I wonder….

Or perhaps a nice corporate raider will come along when the market cap has dropped further than the $2.86B scoop it up raid the $3B and liquidate the hard assets and make some extra cash there…. Oh I forgot Lehman does have a $30B plus (..or so) debt liability so the raider strategy definitely wouldn’t work.

#77 Toronto Crash on 09.12.08 at 3:00 pm

House prices need to fall 10% more: BMO

Eric Beauchesne, Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, September 12, 2008

OTTAWA — Canadian housing prices need to fall nearly 10% further to bring them back into line with incomes, a major investment firm warned Thursday.

And that assumes continued moderate growth in incomes, according to the report by BMO Capital Markets, suggesting that should income growth falter, housing prices would have to fall even further to bring them back into balance.

“After six years of unsustainable growth, prices have run smack into the affordability wall,” BMO Capital Markets, reinforcing a similar warning issued in a study by the University of British Columbia earlier this week, which said prices in some major cities prices would have to plunge 25% to bring them back into balance.

“Income growth drives house prices in the long run,” said the report by BMO economist Sal Guatieri, noting that since 2002 house prices have increased twice as fast as incomes.

While home prices have already started to decline, with existing home prices in July being 3.6% lower on average than a year earlier, the report said prices need to fall another 9% over two years to 2006 levels to bring them into line with incomes.

“Homeowners who purchased six years ago would still have hefty capital gains, but those who bought during the past two years would face temporary losses,” Mr. Guatieri noted.

The latest house price warning came in the wake of a Statistics Canada report Thursday that new home prices edged up just 0.1% in July to produce an annual gain of 2.7%, the weakest gain in seven years.

“That’s the slowest pace since 2001 and down from a peak of 12.1% year-over-year just two years ago,” noted another BMO economist, Douglas Porter.

Adding to concerns of economic weakness was another Statistics Canada report that Canada’s trade surplus shrank more than expected in July, reflecting the start of the plunge in prices for energy and other commodities that Canada exports.

“Commodities and Canada’s trade balance are inextricably linked for the better or for the worse, and in the third quarter it will likely be for the worse, as the trade surplus shrinks on declining commodity prices,” said CIBC World Markets economist Krishen Rangasamy after Statistics Canada reported the trade surplus fell to $4.9-billion from $5.6-billion in June, as imports rose more than exports.

Merchandise exports rose 2.2% to $44.3-billion, thanks to a 1.7% rise in volume and 0.5% rise in prices. However, imports rose by a much greater 4.6% to $39.4-billion, a combination of a 3.6% increase in volume and 0.5 increase in prices.

“The still-solid level of the surplus reflects the last hurrah for commodity prices,” added BMO’s Porter, projecting that the deepening plunge in commodity prices will pull the surplus down to the $3-billion level in the months to come, and that trade will continue to act as a big drag on overall economic growth.

The Canadian dollar plunged to a 13-month low of less than US93 cents following the weaker than expected new housing price and trade reports. The currency closed at US92.89 cents, down nearly six-tenths of a cent from US93.48 cents Wednesday.

The trade and housing reports, meanwhile, provide “further confirmation that trade continues to drag heavily on Canadian growth, while housing continues to cool markedly,” Mr. Porter added.

Other analysts also warned that the housing market, which has been a pillar of domestic economic strength for most of this decade, will like trade, soon start acting as a drag on overall economic growth.

#78 rob on 09.12.08 at 3:12 pm

Mylene #66, you are an idiot!

#79 patriotz on 09.12.08 at 3:19 pm

“Enough politicking, did anyone ever comment on this analysis with anything other than “it was commissioned by the BCREA” — seems the rent = cost of ownership base numbers are just a tad wacky.”

They claim that “Only in Toronto are prices in balance with rents, the study concluded. In Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina and Winnipeg prices would need to drop by at least 20% to be in balance and in Calgary by 7% and in Vancouver by 11%.”.

All I can say is that they must have been looking at another country with a city called Ottawa which is twice as expensive as a city called Vancouver, instead of Canada where it’s the other way around. It seems to have a Toronto which is cheaper than its Ottawa, too.

#80 Rugger on 09.12.08 at 3:24 pm

I can’t believe that after all the Fiberals have done to us (lest not forget adscam), and what the NDP stand for (socialism, bordering on communism)…that anybody would vote for these fools. The conservatives allow you(the taxpayer) to keep more of your own money…and spend it the way you want, instead of the government taking all your money(the Green Shaft – and NDP socialism) and spending it the way they think it’s best for us. NO THANKS…I’d rather keep as much money as I can in my own pocket…and manage it myself thank you…

#81 Noz on 09.12.08 at 3:38 pm


That was my point…I like Galloway. I disagree with him on a few very critical points but I like him.

#82 Lothian on 09.12.08 at 3:48 pm

Jelly (comment # 61):

That is all.

Good luck, Garth, I hope you do well and are awarded a cabinet position (because, of course, the idea is to stay near the centre of power so, you know, you can actually shape policy. Voice in wilderness with all the answers = popular and commercially successful but useless in terms of implementing said answers).

#83 $fromA$ia on 09.12.08 at 4:48 pm

Adding to Mylene, We Canadians take it up the A$$ with taxation.

#84 $fromA$ia on 09.12.08 at 4:50 pm

All income brackets are skewed. There should be a base percentage of tax thats it! Low income gets a break.

#85 cmh on 09.12.08 at 5:37 pm

I wish you well – I want Harper out – he frightens me – and this is one Albertan who won’t be voting for him. You are a politician that I have a lot of respect for – you’re an independent thinker and actually care about the average Canadian. Good Luck.

#86 Joren on 09.12.08 at 6:30 pm

While I find it ironic that you claim to be so outspoken while one of my comments about John Baird was edited by someone on your end, I wish there were more MP’s like you.

Much like I’m amazed that anyone in the States would vote for “Roe v. Wade was a mistake” McCain, I can’t believe any intelligent Canadian can’t see what Harper has done.

To those wanting to know who to vote for, pick up a paper, go online and Google your district. Yes, I know, sometimes you never know who your Candidate is. Hell, Iggy was running in my district and I never knew it or heard from him the whole time I lived there. Still voted for him though.

Though it matters who you vote for, what matters most this time around is that you get off your ass and vote.

I want my Canada back.

#87 David on 09.12.08 at 10:44 pm

The vision thing is quaint and passé these days.
Political discourse in Canada has been reduced to little more than shallow evasive debate stage managed by policy entrepreneurs. Quite appalling actually, and goes a long way towards explaining why Canadians have become so depoliticised and voluntarily removed from public life in the past two decades.
The Chretien years were the ultimate snoozefest for Canadian politics with perhaps the exception of the chilly corporate style government of Louis St. Laurent in the mid 1950’s era. Neither of these governments left much of an inspiring legacy or undertook any major policy initiatives that changed Canadian life for the better.
The vision thing should be important, but it is not there any more. Something about shared purpose and common destiny as a democratic nation. Functioning democracies have citizens, not mere taxpayers.
Loose monetary policies and real estate housing bubbles do not look like nation building or represent a national vision.
Just a thought, but it is possible that Harper vastly overestimated his political capital. Harper’s electoral calculus might be way off in fact. The scuttlebutt says this election hinges on a 4% vote shift. Here is the rub, first time Liberal voters, youth (environmentally conscious) and older people who see Harper as an insincere poseur neocon faux Tory. Those numbers are more than enough to sink any of his dreams of a majority government.

#88 Marcus Aurelius on 09.12.08 at 11:07 pm

Now its “10%” average price declines only – from the so-called experts who’ve been shilling for over 6 years. Don’t bet on it. Toronto is a pustule ready to pop – so have fun out there, and enjoy the low (but feral) IQs of the realtors as they try to spin beyond their ability to speak coherently in English (the so-called “Prick Principle”, a cousin of the established “Peter Principle”).

Today’s polls show a Conservative Majority. While the dimbulbs of Canadian politics continue to show that they are exactly the calibre of public servant that a nation of weak-willed, non-voting, easily-conned people deserve, you have to admit that Mr. Harper is by far the least of all evils when measured against a cretinous, scabrous, corrupt milquetoast (who can’t speak the King’s English) and a bobble-headed socialist who didn’t figure out that socialism as a practical answer to real issues died in Thatcher’s Britain in the late 1970s. Do you like Dave Miller in Toronto? Did you like Bob Rae’s Ontario? Do you laugh at the harmful stupidity of lotus-eating British Columbians? Then you’ll LOVE the NDP/Green/Liberal vision of how your last dollar will be plucked.

PS – more Canadians will watch the Obama vs. McCain debates than the Harper vs. Grumbling Pygmies debates this month. That tells the tale.

#89 My_view on 09.12.08 at 11:28 pm

The U.S fed is working Sundays very often lately… Double Time!

#90 paleobotanist on 09.12.08 at 11:42 pm

Good luck Garth, I hope you win, please continue to raise hell and I wish you a comfortable pair of shoes because you’ll need them.

#91 Blacksheep on 09.13.08 at 12:59 am

Western societies largely have consumer driven

economies,when credit contracts, people stop spending.

Global assets/investments are going through a rapid

depreciation cycle, due to massive deleveraging of

credit and people running for the cash sidline.

The US fed is bailing out Stearns,Fred & Fann,Lehman,

with some economists calling for a 100+ institutional

failures to come.

Holders of US dollars/paper are going to pay with

intrest for the trillions spent in the bailouts through a

weakening, then finally collasping dollar.

Housing in the US has yet to bottom, the CORRECTION


Most peolpe are not getting that this is a much bigger

problem than some over priced houses.

Gold and silver are on sale big time.

There is an economic storm coming, prudence says,

prepare for the worst, hope for the best.


#92 Sam on 09.13.08 at 1:19 am


Can your party not pick you up and replace Dion ?

#93 Rob in Onterrible on 09.13.08 at 7:05 am

For those of you on facebook and myspace there is a group called “Canadians United Against Stephen Harper”. Check it out if you have a chance.

Sorry Garth for not sticking to real estate this time. Should these kinds of comments be posted on another forum?


#94 rob on 09.13.08 at 9:48 am

Wow reading all these comments about Harper makes me wonder. What has he done that is so bad or evil? Compared to past Liberal governments I think he has done a decent job. I like Garth and would vote for him as well.

#95 Mark from Ottawa on 09.13.08 at 10:25 am

Garth; as an expat from Toronto I’ve followed you and your political career from afar for a couple of decades. I stumbled across this site via a link from the Automatic Earth, which is a site I read each day. Since I’ve only this morning stumbled upon your blog, I would be grateful if you could explain your thoughts on “Fool’s Gold” as you call it given the backdrop of a U.S. treasury and Fed Reserve that is on the way to bankrupcy from the pressure to nationalize large parts of their economy and the associated inflation/downward pressure on the US$, where else should one place one’s assets and why not gold ?

#96 LuckyLondoner on 09.13.08 at 1:19 pm

#70 Andrew toronto

Even if one accepts that man made CO2 will have an adverse effect (and the EVIDENCE is NOT supporting that premise), Canada contributes only 2% of the world’s man made CO2 emissions.

So even if we went total Hunter-Gatherer (I mean live in the woods and eat berries) we would cut by 2% (but add back the CO2) and that would mean NOTHING with emissions growing from India and China. Any carbon tax or trading system would have significantly LESS effect – except for seriously exacerbating any economic downturn.

And if you think other counties will be influenced my our ‘moral leadership’ and cut their CO2 output we may have another Greater Fool. Production will shift to markets not committing Carbon Harri Kari and they will be quite pleased with their rise and our decline.

But if we do take “action” Canadians will “feel better”. What a way to forge serious economic policy decisions.

#97 LuckyLondoner on 09.13.08 at 1:22 pm

EDIT – add back the CO2 we exhale to the 2% saved under the whole-hog Hunter-Gatherer option

#98 3rdman on 09.13.08 at 3:59 pm

#90 Good post.

Lucky cheap rich bastard Warren Budget (Buffet) lives off a 100K a year.
In case you missed it – the richest guy in the World claims this ones gonna run deeper and last longer than most folks presently realize.

#99 rant in Calgary on 09.13.08 at 5:59 pm


I think the Real Estate industry made a huge donation to the University.

No wonder I can’t get a hamburger here, look at the average rent. Fast food joints will need to charge $12.00 a burger to pay staff enough money for rent.

Balanced market? Are they trying to say most Calgarians’ can afford $2000.00 a month in rent?

#100 Mark on 09.13.08 at 7:06 pm


Not too be rude or anything but this is similar to the way a real estate agent touts a booming housing market…..

In todays technological day and age I see no reason why we even have MP’s or people making choices… Or as many as we do anyway.

We could have daily referendums. Let the people choose. Emocracy. That’s what I vote for.

#101 GenXer on 09.13.08 at 7:29 pm

LuckyLondoner – you are telling me that if we can only contribute to solving 2% of the global warming problem that we shouldn’t bother helping? Wow – you are truly a great global citizen. Let’s just throw our hands up and do nothing, rather than putting our backs into it and work to make a difference.

Sounds like the indifference of a baby boomer – a generation who continue to tell their children that real estate and stock markets never go down, that paychecks will always be good, that gas will always be cheap and that suburbs make sense.

Get over it – the glory days are over. V8 engines, suburbs, and dispersion as a means of dealing with pollution are done. Housing is just a small part of the massive mess that the greatest spenders of all time have left me and my kids to deal with. It’s time to wake up and feel the hangover.

#102 Calgary rip off on 09.13.08 at 8:06 pm

Rant In Calgary:

Your comments are exactly why there are problems in Calgary. People choose not to move here because the incomes typically generated are not in line with housing cost.

There is no “balanced market”. That is a delusion propagated to feed those dependent on the bubble, speculators, realtors, etc.

The essential services and basic services industry depends on immigrants and naive workers who dont know better.

The reason the delusion continues is that people want it to. They are content on spending $400,000 for a single family detached shack that is worth $180,000 at best. Calgary housing value is overvalued. Hopefully all of those individuals who say it is undervalued will get screwed. They created this artificial value, so they will have to deal with it when their artificial wealth dries up. Oh well, individuals cannot take money and possessions with them when they are dead so if there are people suffering that’s their problem. They did it to themselves.

The complaints about Harper are correct. Perhaps he should emigrate to the United States. He strikes me as an American, and I grew up in the United States. I believe there are those Canadians who would rather not have socialism. Perhaps socialism would end the idea of “market value” and houses would not gain equity. Houses are after all, only a place to live. They should not be an investment. Some would argue against this, however there are no reasons why a house is anything else but a dwelling. If the equity crap was destroyed there would no longer be any problems. Persons would find a house, buy it, and that would be it. No flipping, speculating, none of those practices that create no tangible value.

I eagerly look forward to October 15th when these individuals responsible for this mess may face the undertow of their doings. They deserve every bit of suffering they incur.

#103 Dawn in Calgary on 09.13.08 at 9:32 pm

Well, the Calgary Herald has finally admitted it, although if the RE shills will admit to -20%, what do they actually believe the true number to be? I’d be interested to know.

Resale prices to decline up to 20 per cent
Marty Hope, Calgary Herald
Published: Saturday, September 13, 2008

I hate to be the bearer of bad news — at least, for sellers of used homes.

The direction of resale home prices will continue to be straight down, say a couple of industry veterans who have ridden out all the strange twists and turns that historically make up Calgary’s housing market.

The fact that prices are declining likely isn’t news for potential buyers, who are enjoying the trend as they hunt for a place to hang their hat.
Email to a friendEmail to a friendPrinter friendlyPrinter friendly

But whether you’re a seller or a buyer, it’s still a shock when you find out just how far down prices are forecast to go.

Click link to see entire article

#104 charles on 09.13.08 at 10:39 pm

The following is from an article on the (Victoria) Times Colonist web site. This article is titled “Provincial House Sale Values Take Dive” and was written earlier today.

“The value of B.C. housing sales plummeted nearly 50 per cent in August compared with the same month last year, highlighting the drastic changes slicing through all segments of the real estate market.”

“B.C. home sales dipped to 5,175 last August, down 47.4 per cent from the same month in 2007, the report said. And in the capital region, individual sales slid by 37.5 per cent, compared with the same month the previous year.”

“Provincially, total listings climbed to 58,445 in August, up by 61 per cent from August 2007.”

“When comparing average prices for all types of housing in August with the same month last year, Greater Victoria saw a drop of 1.2 per cent, and B.C. decreased by 4.1 per cent, the association’s report said.”

If anyone wishes to read the entire article, the following is the link to it:

Provincial House Sale Values Take Dive

#105 charles on 09.14.08 at 1:46 am

The following is from an article on the Vancouver Sun website titled “The Central Bankers Simply Didn’t Do Their Jobs”. This article was written today.

“We learned this week from former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge that central bankers here and abroad were aware of a looming credit crisis five years ago.

Why didn’t they tell us then? If Wall St. and Bay St. turned a deaf ear to their warnings, as Dodge claims they did, surely these public officials — given a mandate to maintain a stable financial system — had a duty to make their concerns widely known.

Former U.S. Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan privately warned for years that easy money in the real estate sector was “a disaster waiting to happen,” Dodge explained, but the perception that making mortgages more accessible helped homeowners stymied any effort for reform.So the central banks not only turned a blind eye but indirectly aided and abetted the securities industry in its scheme to market an alphabet soup of financial derivatives, often backed by NINJA mortgages — no income, no job, no assets — leading to the carnage that has wiped out trillions of dollars of real estate value around the world and undermined confidence in the global financial system.”

If anyone wishes to read the entire article, the following is the link to it”

The Central Bankers Simply Didn’t Do Their Jobs

My question to you Garth,

Five years ago in Canada, the Liberals had a majority government in with a couple of years to go in their mandate. At that time do you think the Liberals should have spoke up about this “looming credit crisis” if they knew about it, and if they didn’t know about it, why didn’t they know about it?

#106 jelly on 09.14.08 at 6:35 am

Noz, re; 80

I got it, your point was not rocket science,
just stating some info for other bloggers
that do not know Galloway…

Lothian, re: #81

So you expect me to believe a stupid article about the
wrongdoings of Galloway? (really reputable by the way)
Please, surely you admit people get black balled and
lied about by people they piss off for various political reasons? You obviously have not watched the Senate footage I spoke about, if you did you would have heard Galloway state multiple times that they have no proof
and the bullies had no good points and just looked nervous and unsure. He explained in detail why they are trying to scapegoat him. Also, the manner and anger in which he defends himself leads me to believe (certainly more than the “thugs” he is speaking to) his innocence on that matter.
That link means nothing to me,
Go watch FOX, there is a bunch of info for you
you may believe…

#107 3rdman on 09.14.08 at 12:08 pm

I feel sorry for the west coast voters – by the time they get to vote, Ontario and Quebec have already voted in the next Prime Minister.

King Harper of Canada.

#108 Peter on 09.14.08 at 12:40 pm

Hi Garth, I read your book and sold my house. I check this blog daily, I am hoping for a correction here in Toronto, me and the rest of the world. Houses are still selling over asking , I believe you mentioned we can expect to see price declines by mid October here. I am curious which Condo development was shelved , that you mentioned a couple of topics ago. There have been several requests for this info . Is the development back on? Can you let this out of the bag? I await a response. Thank You and good luck.

#109 Tom on 09.14.08 at 2:08 pm

Conservatives can not be trusted. I am a true conservative and garth is IMO a true conservative but the current CONservatives are anything but conservative. They have a hidden agenda with a doubt in my mind. I will not and can not ruin Canada and vote for these CLOWNservatives.

#110 Rick on 09.14.08 at 5:31 pm

#69 Bobby in Victoria on 09.12.08 at 10:45 am The NDP couldn’t run a hot dog stand! Given their performances in both BC and Ontario I doubt we will ever see another NDP government.
Given that this is a real estate forum, I would suggest that the best way to make homes more affordable here in BC is to vote in another NDP government. Investment would flee the province driving down real estate values.
We’ve seen it before.
Nonsense Bobby. Socially concious governments have always been voted in at the end of an economic boom, like we are about to see. When the population is fed up and feels ‘dooped.’ NDP or whatever…..usually inherit mess they cannot clean up. In comes the next conservative government who usually rides an economic boom they had nothing to do with. (i.e. Gordo and the B.C. Libs) The cycle once again repeats itself. The MSM brainwashes the masses with this minomer, following thier own agenda.

Lets, for once, elect the NDP at the top of a positive economic cycle. Then we can compare apples to apples. This inherent fault in Canadian politics is what has allowed Conservatives to act like Liberals and visa versa.

Time for as much awareness as change, in my opinion.

#111 Noz on 09.14.08 at 7:53 pm

Lucky cheap rich bastard Warren Budget (Buffet) lives off a 100K a year.
In case you missed it – the richest guy in the World claims this ones gonna run deeper and last longer than most folks presently realize.

Easy for him to say….he made it big with some savvy, some guessing, and ALOT of luck…just like everyone else.

It’s easy to make someone look like a Messiah in retrospect.

#112 Republic of Western Canada on 09.14.08 at 8:29 pm

#87 Marcus Aurelius – Not to mention the whiplash the Lie-berals will feel for the wasteful bill C-68, which was an attempt to steal all firearms away from the law-abiding average citizen and to degrade all Canadians down to the level of overtaxed, brow-beaten pussies.

#113 LuckyLondoner on 09.14.08 at 11:03 pm

#101 GenXer

No, I am telling you that if we roll up and shut down Canada completely the difference made is 2%. Are you and your kids willing to do that? Any actions less than that will represent FAR less of a CO2 reduction.

So then you are suggesting we deliberately shrink our economy to have a far less than 2% reduction in CO2 output? Are you factoring the effect on human misery that will cause by exacerbating the coming downturn: big jumps in unemployment homelessness and suicide, degraded heath care, less educational opportunities and yes less concern for the environment (the richer a country is the cleaner it can afford to be – look at the old Eastern Bloc and USSR when they were broke).

And yes I think I am a better World Citizen than you – I would rather encourage long term growth in our economy and then spend our dollars on things that will have a REAL effect like providing the Third World with clean water (do you realize how much suffering that would alleviate?), and serious efforts to reduce HIV, and malnutrition.

And that is all IF there is a “global warming problem” – there are more and more independent scientists moving into the skeptic camp – again one really good recent example:

#114 confused and a little crazed on 09.15.08 at 12:06 am

Hi ,

Though i agree with a lot of things said here: crashing…equities, banks, commodities but like everything in the universe there is a ying/ yang. While something goes down others go up. For instance MCD ( Mc donalds) or Time warner, MGM stuff like that are holding their value after dropping 30 % and increasing slightly. Simply because ,like all humans…one seeks relaxation after a hard days work. One tries to get the most for his money. Since money is scarse and you still want to take your mind off your troubles (few hours.) a simple movie and trip to Mc donalds is the easiest way especially if you got kids. You can’t afford a tropical vacation but you still need a break.

What I am saying there a still buying opportunties out there…but you have to put yourself in the others shoes…and what would you do?

I know there is aa lot of doom and gloom out there but focus a little on the light…ssmall aas it may be you got to work on it

#115 Brittanny on 09.15.08 at 2:27 am

Garth. Freddie/Fannie, Merril, Lehman, AIG. AIG is looking for a $40 billion bridge from the Feds. They are not getting the same media as the others. These are the the guys that are probably one of the biggest players in derivatives regarding Credit default swaps, which worldwide is estimated to be held currently at approx. $7 Trillion, with trades reaching over $70 trillion in the last 12 months.
Do you think that this is the beginning of a global financial meltdown like never seen before?
I mean it is quite obvious that CDS’s are a giant paper pyramid of epic proportions that the average person is completely unaware of.

#116 Calgary_rip_off on 09.15.08 at 9:50 am

Dawn in Calgary:

I dont quite understand why you are so excited. $100,000 down from $515,000 is still ridiculous. Who wants to spend $400,000 on a $180,000 house? The terminally insane? These statistics are nothing to get excited about. Its still nonsense. Only when the houses are back to what they are worth, a TOTAL and complete crash will I incur any excitement. Until then its all very DISGUSTING in Calgary. The city is nice, until you look at the price tag for what you are getting.

#117 Peter in TO on 09.15.08 at 9:52 am

Garth, I pose this as a challenge to you and it would be good to use as a party platform.

Clean up the RE industry.

There should bean inquiry to determine who has made a killing through the lies and misdirection off the Real estate industry. We have gone through all sorts of BS and besides a lot of bluster from politicians little has been done to improve the situation.

Remember the 90’s debt crisis in Canada? It was a load of crap bankrolled by the big banks to cut social programs and minimize taxation on their annual bonuses. We became more fiscally conservative but did we ever as a nation analyze why we allowed the banks to pull off this shit without punitive action? NO.

Garth I would task you with following the money to see who lobbied the dropping of the 5% and the 40 year mortgage. There is always a money trail if we choose to follow it.

Earlier one gentleman was on a tirade about the ill-effect of Keysian economic policies. I think right now we should be looking for the shock impact preceding Friedman economic policies. If not we will be a country in free fall for the corporate vultures to pick clean.

The country is entering a period of mass panic and confusion. This is a key time for the chicago school of business to roll in with policies to open the economy. We all know the dear all Harper is keen on this breed of economics. Historically the only people that have benefitted have been the rich while the poor have sunk to the bottom.

My Canada does not have a stratified upper and lower class with no middle. Garth I hope neither does yours.


#118 GenXer on 09.15.08 at 10:41 am

Hey LuckyLondoner,

Canada is the largest user of energy per capital – so how exactly is a rich country cleaner than a poor one? By the way, the US is the second largest user per capita and they aren’t exactly poor. Canada’s overall environmental ranking among OECD nations is a dismal 28th out of 29. The fact that we use emit 2% of global emissions with only 0.5% of the global population is deplorable.

The argument that driving our economy to help the world is a misnomer as well – we already have a GDP of 1.178 Trillion dollars and spend only 0.21% of our GDP on foreign aid. The US currently spends more on the war in Iraq than the entire world spends on foreign aid. Face it – captialism is individualism – you can’t solve global issues with a free market economy.

#119 Noz on 09.15.08 at 12:11 pm

No, I am telling you that if we roll up and shut down Canada completely the difference made is 2%. Are you and your kids willing to do that? Any actions less than that will represent FAR less of a CO2 reduction.

So then you are suggesting we deliberately shrink our economy to have a far less than 2% reduction in CO2 output? Are you factoring the effect on human misery that will cause by exacerbating the coming downturn: big jumps in unemployment homelessness and suicide, degraded heath care, less educational opportunities and yes less concern for the environment (the richer a country is the cleaner it can afford to be – look at the old Eastern Bloc and USSR when they were broke).

The climate doesn’t wait around for you to reduce emissions by 10’s of percents…it’s sensitive enough that even a 2% reduction goes a long way to altering the future of the entire planet.

Guess what happens if the icecaps melt by a few percentages…buh-bye Vancouver.

#120 A. W. Salo on 09.15.08 at 10:28 pm

To all,

good times are ahead for canadians. lots of stories and memories to come. just take a read of the following.

Ten Lost Years, 1929-1939
Memories of the Canadians Who Survived the Depression

great read. may prepare us for what is coming.

#121 Lothian on 09.16.08 at 2:18 pm

jelly, re #106:

quickly (because this is a real estate board) the link means nothing to you because apparently you’re not interested in encumbering yourself with facts. i admit that Hitchens can be distasteful and can lob squalid invective as well as Galloway, but his article does summarize a set of events that any thoughtful person interested in Galloway would want to know about. The results of a joint investigation into his activities by the British Parliament, for example. But if the information doesn’t fit with your world view, you’re not interested, are you? And of course Galloway was angry and denied being involved – it’s called deflection. It’s what some people do when they’ve been caught.

As for the Fox smear, well, thanks for demonstrating to me who you are. To the rest of us, sorry for feeding the troll.

#122 The Tallyman on 09.17.08 at 11:44 pm

Sorry posted Holy Harper in wrong section