Pt 2: Is the Recession Over? - Well, is it over or isn't it? Depends who you ask. Canada's recession is nearly over according to the Bank of Canada. The Finance Minister is sounding somewhat more cautious about declaring an end to the economic crisis.
It's Friday, July 31st.
Last night President Barack Obama hosted African American scholar Henry Louis Gates and the policeman who arrested him to share a beer or two, in hopes of easing racial tensions.
Currently, the reconciliation plan boiled down to this: each time someone said "Black" or "Stupid", they had to drink.
This is The Current.
Whether in their own yards, in parks, or puttering around on the golf green.
Canadians love their lawns. So much so, according to Statistics Canada - Canadians spent more than $2 billion on lawn and garden care in 2006. That's up more than $600 million since 2002 proving in many ways that while the grass is always greener...it's never green enough.
Real lawns, fake lawns - however you approach that 'green oasis' may reveal as much about the inner-workings of your psychology as it does about any sort of penchant for gardening.
Ian Lagarde is the co-director of the documentary film American Savannah. He was in Montreal this morning. And in Tucson, Arizona we've reached Paul Robbins. He is a Professor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona and the author of Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make us who we Are.
Is the Recession Over?
Well, is it over or isn't it? Depends who you ask. Canada's recession is nearly over according to the Bank of Canada.
The Finance Minister is sounding somewhat more cautious about declaring an end to the economic crisis.
Perhaps that's partly because of the record number of jobless people in Canada. As of the latest figures in May, 778,000 Canadians are collecting Employment Insurance benefits.
So the economy is on the upswing -- but so is the number of Canadians out of work. What, then, are we to make of all this talk about the recession ending?
Carlos Leitao is the Chief Economist at the Laurentian Bank. He was in Montreal.
Regardless of whether Canada's current economy is viewed through a half-full or half-empty glass, most would agree that now is the time to be casting our eyes towards the future. And there are various opinions as to what the government must do in the months ahead to ensure the economy makes a full recovery.
Perrin Beatty is the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He's also a former Conservative cabinet minister. He was in London, England.
Armine Yalnizyan is the chief economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. She joined Tom in studio in Toronto.
And for an alternative perspective, we asked tarot card reader Guy Sewert, at Calgary's New Age Book and Crystals, to lay his cards on the table ...