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Harper calm about economy in 2008

The Story

It's October 2008, and there's just one week left to go before Canada's federal election. Countless Canadians are frightened about the economy in light of the devastating stock market crisis in the United States. In this one-on-one interview with CBC-TV's Peter Mansbridge, an unruffled Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canadians needn't panic. Harper goes as far as to say Canadians could actually make some gains by buying up cheap stocks. "Do you really want to be heard saying that? Are you suggesting people should be buying?" asks an incredulous Mansbridge.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Oct. 7, 2008
Guest(s): Stephen Harper
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Duration: 26:34

Did You know?

• Stephen Harper was born on April 30, 1959 in Toronto. He has been prime minister since Feb. 6, 2006. 


• Harper's comment during this interview about it being a good time to buy cheap stocks created an uproar among many Canadians. In the Globe and Mail's letters to the editor section on Oct. 9, 2008, numerous letters harshly criticized Harper's seemingly nonchalant attitude toward the financial situation. One letter writer compared it to the "Let them eat cake" statement attributed to Marie Antoinette before the French Revolution, while another stated, "for Canadians who see their pension funds disappearing, the search for bargains might have to be confined to the supermarket, not the stock market."


• At the same time, however, a number of Globe readers wrote letters supporting Harper's calm approach and his unwillingness to panic unnecessarily. "We need calm, capable and focused leadership. If you want a hug, call your mommy," wrote one reader.



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