Mulcair stands by Dutch disease theory, even as another study suggests it's bogus

Credits: REUTERS/Patrick Doyle


OTTAWA - Yet another study has found that a Canadian dollar boosted by high oil prices isn't a big factor in manufacturing declines, but NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair isn't buying it.

A new Macdonald-Laurier Institute study takes at swipe at "those who mistakenly continue to view our industrial heartland as a bombed-out ruin," saying so-called Dutch disease has been exaggerated and that manufacturing has been rising since 2009.

Mulcair dismissed that.

"The study by Prof. Coulombe and his team that was done for Industry Canada shows that of the 600,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs that have been lost in this country over the past seven years, many of them are attributable to the fact that the Canadian dollar is artificially high," he said.

The study actually focused on manufacturing job losses only between 2002 and 2007, not the past seven years. Recovering at home from heart bypass surgery, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver called Mulcair's diagnosis "divisive and inaccurate."

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall took to Twitter on Thursday, calling the study more evidence that Mulcair is wrong to call the West's resource economy "a disease."

Mulcair has run afoul of other economic analyses in the past.

In September, outgoing Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney called higher commodity prices "unambiguously good" for the country.

An Institute for Research on Public Policy study last May found sluggish productivity growth and troubled export markets were much bigger problems for manufacturers than high resource prices.

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