Canadian Banks and the Canadian Economy – The Big Hoax Prime Minister Harper Will Foist on the G8 and G20

Don Currie, Chair CPS

June 16, 2010

Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty are going to the G8 and G20 meetings June 25-27, 2010 claiming their policies have saved the Canadian economy from the global recession and have done so without giving a penny of public money to Canadian Banks.[1] 

Prime Minister Harper’s unctuous speech at the World Economic Forum at Davos Switzerland last January 28th 2010 dripping with praise for Canadian Banks laid out the Conservative Party corporate line that Harper will take first to the G8/G20 and then into the next federal election. The Prime Minister invites the Canadian electorate to believe that when privately owned banks are profitable so is the overall Canadian economy. [2]  The privately owned and controlled corporate media propaganda machine has dutifully promoted that message ever since.  

The banks are thriving racking up record profits [3]… but Stats Can for May [4] reports over 8% of Canadian workers are still out of work. Most job growth has been in the low paid services sector. The 55 year old and over age category led by women workers is the group Stats claims is finding work.

The Stats Can report for May suggests that many middle aged women are being forced back to work to keep working class households going as laid off spouses seek work. Women in this age group, married and single traditionally have been in out of the work force as they raise families. A large group of partially employed women now confront sparse retirement income. Many are compelled to go back to work to try and build up CPP benefits as they approach retirement age. Most in this situation re-enter the work force lacking skills and are employed in low wage service jobs without benefits. The plight of middle aged women who have been denied the opportunity to a full education and economic independence now confront poverty in their old age proving once again that formal equality before the law is hallow if the actual second class status of women in the real economy continues.  

Youth employment in the age group 14 to 25 has worsened. Youth unemployment is always evidence of a stagnant economy. The largest group of unemployed workers is in the age category 25 to 40.

While 1.4 million wage earners are out of work, at the other end of the scale a small group of wealth and privilege, the parasitical class that lives sumptuously from the labour of Canadian workers, revel in the fact that fewer employed people work harder and longer and produce the same or more of the use values and commodities Canadians and the world needs.  As the Federal Government stimulus package winds down the situation will undoubtedly worsen bearing down even more heavily on the employed work force.

In spite of chronic mass unemployment Canadian GDP is actually growing. [5] Productivity and wealth creation potential of the Canadian working people is remarkable evidenced by the fact that fewer produce more. If the unemployed were fully engaged in the economy productivity would rise even faster and higher. There would be more funds for expanding social programs and providing as the Canadian Labour Congress is demanding, a decent retirement benefit for all without exception. The struggle over who will control CPP, the beneficiaries or the finance capitalist elites is far from over. The investor classes covet the fund and will not end their efforts to get their hands on it.

Don Drummond, one of the more enlightened bourgeois economists, recently retired from his post as a top executive with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce claims that the Canadian economy is only producing at 79% of its potential. An advocate of full employment as the road to increased productivity, Drummond’s thesis should be read by all who buy the line that a low wage economy with a high rate of unemployment spurs productivity. [6]

Drummond is no friend of labour and has been a faithful servant of the banking establishment. His view of Canadian economic development is simply more representative of that section of Canadian finance capital that is still interested in making profit out of the expansion of the home market in addition to selling out Canadian resources to the highest bidder.  

Equating Bank profiteering to overall economic recovery is a capitalist view of capitalist economics not a working class view of capitalist economics. 

It is pure hoakum that Canadian banks never received a Conservative Government aid package. What is true in Finance Minister Flaherty’s boast is this : The Canadian Banks didn’t need an aid package but got one anyway.

The Harper-Flaherty shell game, that moved about $200 billion to the service of the banks that didn’t need it and that created a smooth and seamless method for the banks to borrow public money from the CMHC fund and then lend it back to the government at a handsome profit is well documented. One of the best of these many exposures was by Michael Chossudovsky of Global Research. His paper on the subject is basic reading for labour and militant. [7] As an aside it is the view of this observer, that Chossudovsky on all counts is way ahead of the CCPA Monitor and yet seems to be underutilized by the left progressive press.


What is even more than troubling, incomprehensible, is why the organized labour movement and the NDP, in particular its Parliamentary caucus is unable to stay on message about the corporate-banking collusion with the inner-cabinet of the Harper government and in particular the contacts maintained between the government and its appointed non-elected corporate advisory committee. The NDP and the CLC are called upon to relentlessly and publicly expose the fact that Harper is a crony of big business and revels in that role.


 For decades, the Communists have been exposing what they define as a merger of finance capital and the state, or state monopoly capitalism, as the prevailing form of governing in the present era of capitalist development and calling for a united struggle to replace it with a new form of governance, a worker led democratic state of the working people. That strategic goal is dependent on a waging a public, relentless, inspired, contemporary rise in class-revolutionary consciousness on the left.


The form that opportunism among the Communists takes today is the belief that someone else will do it…!


Left Turn Canada.