On the day the federal NDP came to power in 2015, it was one of the best things that had happened to Canada in generations.
It helped to create a climate of optimism that seemed poised to last, and it set a national example of the kind of stability that Canadians had come to expect.
As the Liberals came to office in 2018, their record was much more dismal, but the country’s outlook was even bleaker: Its economy was in tatters, the country was in turmoil and the jobs market was a disaster.
For months, the federal government has been talking about a plan to revive the economy and give it a boost.
Now, the plan is in limbo, and there are doubts about its success.
And for many Canadians, it has become a defining moment of their own time.
The election of Justin Trudeau, Canada’s youngest prime minister, came as the country finally got a glimpse of how things could change, and of what it would take to make them a better place.
In the process, it also highlighted the political divide that is dividing Canadians along political lines, as voters increasingly believe that politics is the only way forward for their country.
In an election that also saw the country elect its first woman prime minister and a first woman leader of a major political party, Trudeau’s election brought to the forefront some of the country-specific issues that had been simmering for decades.
One of them was the economic crisis.
In 2016, the Bank of Canada predicted that Canada’s economy would be in trouble for the next five years.
As of mid-September, the bank was predicting the economy would contract by 6.5 per cent in 2020 and 8.5 in 2021.
By 2022, the report projected the country would have shrunk by 6 per cent and be in recession.
That was a grim prognosis for the world’s fifth-largest economy.
The central bank had already begun warning about the countrys dire situation.
In its December report, the central bank warned that the outlook for Canada’s GDP was likely to deteriorate further, given the continued weakness of global economic activity and the continued strengthening of Canada’s global credit profile.
It said a sustained and sharp fall in global economic growth would be likely to lead to a deterioration in Canadas financial position.
In mid-November, the IMF released its latest forecast of the global economy.
It projected that the world economy would grow by 2.8 per cent for the first quarter of 2021 and by 2 per cent by the first half of 2021.
It was a troubling forecast for Canada, given that Canada had already experienced the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
The IMF predicted that a sustained contraction in economic activity could result in an acceleration in job losses, particularly among younger workers, and a sharp deterioration in the availability of affordable and high-quality goods and services for Canadians.
This was the kind