Lean Times: Policies and Constraints; Ninteenth Annual Review 1982


118 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-660-11198-5




Reviewed by Dean Tudor

Dean Tudor is a journalism professor at the Ryerson Polytechnical
Institute and founding editor of the CBRA.


This annual survey reflects a consensus of the ECC. This year it was grim and hard-nosed, beginning with the first sentences of the Introduction (“Canada’s economic performance has deteriorated markedly over the past year. The current recession has been both longer and deeper than most observers expected. The downturn has entailed considerable hardship and badly undermined the hope with which Canadians entered the decade of the 1980s,” p. xi). Gems from this introductory essay also include “business bankruptcies are running about 40 percent above their 1981 level”; “the unemployment rate has moved into the double-digit range and is higher than at any time since the Depression”; “the value of the Canadian dollar in U.S. currency has fallen to a record low”; and “a pervading mood of gloom.” The ECC here considers Canada’s performance, highlighting the unsatisfactory record of recovery and growth since the 1974 recession. It also considers the next five years, pointing out troubles ahead in the area of balance of payments, housing, investments, and inflation — with 14 specific recommendations such as restraint, fiscal stimuli, less energy spending, putting the federal deficit on hold, and a slowdown on Canadianization. Will they work? Well, we’ll never know, since the government never seems to take much of the ECC’s advice.


Economic Council of Canada, “Lean Times: Policies and Constraints; Ninteenth Annual Review 1982,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/38881.