Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney arrives to testify before the Commons finance committee on Parliament Hill, Oct.30, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Some NDP members on the Commons finance committee tried to bait Carney into rubber stamping their daily line in the House that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has mangled the economy during the ongoing global downturn.
But Carney, who wears a second hat as chairman of the financial stability board for G-20 countries, said Canada is weathering the storm better than others hit hard by the European situation and a sluggish U.S. recovery.
He said that while belt tightening, austerity measures and spending cuts have different impacts from sector to sector, it's to be expected.
"That's frequently the case in an expansion in a recession and subsequent recovery. Some sectors are affected differentially."
On the job front, Carney said the 430,000 jobs that were lost during the 2008-2009 financial collapse have been recovered and that an additional 380,000 jobs have been added to the workforce for a total of 810,000.
"The vast majority of jobs "¦I think almost 85% "¦ are private sector jobs and most of them are full-time."
He also noted that while "the quality of job creation has been high" "¦ "there are more Canadians who want to work than are working."
Carney's appearance was followed by Kevin Page, the parliamentary budget officer often at loggerheads with the Conservatives for his analysis of government spending and economic forecasts.
His most recent outlook predicted lower real GDP growth than Bank of Canada and private sector economist projections, and he warned of higher unemployment, lower tax revenues and spending reductions.
Page's conclusions are often cited by the NDP as the last word on the economy to the exclusion of other independent, private economists by the official Opposition.
He surprised committee members with the admission he is seeking a legal opinion on whether he's overstepping his authority by taking government departments to court for documents he says are needed to perform his duties.
"We need clarity with respect to our mandate," he told the committee.
Page wants to know how departments are implementing the March budget, which calls for annual savings of $5.2 billion, including job cuts.