Sunday, March 21, 2010 | Categories: Episodes
Interviewed by guest host Monte Solberg on the March 21, 2010, program
"How is the jump in the loonie affecting you this time around?"
Guest host Monte Solberg's introduction to the March 21, 2010, program:
"How has the high dollar affected you?"
Today we want to talk about the Canadian dollar. The loonie came pretty close to par with the US dollar this week. It gained almost 5 cents in two-and-a-half weeks. The news set off alarms that this might hurt Canada's recovery from the recession. The price of the dollar affects Canadians in a whole range of activities, from exports and imports to manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and resource development. So, is this news good news -- or is it bad?
When I was 15 years old growing up in Rosetown, Sask., my parents decided that we should go to the World's Fair in Spokane, Wash. During that summer of 1974 the Canadian dollar was several cents higher than the US dollar, making the idea of a family vacation to the U.S. a lot more affordable. So along with another family we hopped into a rented motorhome and headed off to, what seemed to me to be, an impossibly exotic vacation. There were 11 of us stuck in that little Winnebago, but what a fun experience and a terrific education.
But while a strong Canadian dollar gives a big boost to people looking to vacation in the U.S., it can be disastrous for exporters, and those who rely on visitors from south of the border. If you work in Canadian tourism, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, oil and gas or the fishery sectors you have already been hit hard by the recession, especially as it affects our biggest customer, the United States. A strong loonie makes our goods and services that much more expensive relative to those produced in the U.S. and elsewhere, potentially making a bad situation even worse.
Clearly, then, that the strong loonie cuts both ways. On today's program we're asking to hear your stories. How has the high dollar affected you?
When Cross Country Checkup did the topic in 2007, we heard from many of you about the difficulties, and about some of the advantages.
Today we'd like to check back with you to see how things are going this time.
Does it make you feel good that Canada's dollar is strong and the world wants it? Are you going shopping for bargains in the U.S. this time? If you have a business, how is it affecting you... and are you any better prepared this time? What about Canadian retailers: how are they handling the price differences?
Our question today: "How has the high dollar affected you? Is it making things better -- or worse?"
I'm Monte Solberg. Yes, I'm that recovering former federal politician who is just thrilled to be with you this week. On CBC Radio One, and on Sirius satellite radio channel 137, this is Cross Country Checkup.