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Once again I am going to post an opinion that is probably going to get me kicked out of some club somewhere, but I believe in what I am saying and I stand behind my words.
The Canadian dollar is at an all time high; as I type this the CAD is sitting at $1.07 US. I don’t like this. It makes me nervous; it reeks of instability and makes me fear for the future of my country.
Most of the people around me; my family, neighbors and friends all think I am off my rocker to be apprehensive in what should be representative of a strong economy, but what they are failing to see is that this might be the precursor to a recession unlike any that my country has seen since the great depression of 1929-1939.
Most Canadians are scrambling to stockpile cash, but they aren’t doing with it what they should be, they are instead jumping in cars, on planes and on buses and heading south of the border to frivolously buy things in the US. I have nothing per se against cross border shopping; I simply think it’s too soon to get too comfortable with this sudden, seemingly out of the blue; and as much as I hate to think it let alone say it; too good to be true economic win fall.
On this side of the border Canadians are getting restless. They are screaming for retailers to lower prices, they are screaming for a change in the housing markets wanting lower interest rates to be mandated. They don’t want to pay almost double the cost for things like jeans and toys and appliances, and few understand that the items that are currently on the shelves for sale were purchased when the dollar was very different and to lower those prices will be met with huge losses across the board and make an already unstable economy falter even farther…and hey we don’t even know if this rising trend is going to last.
The big 5 auto makers are getting frustrated and mandating their US counterparts to STOP selling to Canadians. I know this because my DH works for one of the big 5 in Canada. They can’t stop us from going across the border and buying used, but unless you have deep pockets there is no way you are going to be able to afford to buy, bring to Canadian code and then pay shipping, taxes, duty, surcharges and delivery charges on a new vehicle because instead of making it easy, they have just stopped selling new cars to Canadians. I know there is more to the story, but that is the crux that is being reported via the media here.
Our Canadian export business is taking a huge hit in the face of a strong CAD. Across border orders have been halted or suspended altogether while the US order makers (think things like aluminum siding) are watching the market closely to see if this is a temporary flux in the market or if in fact this is going to become the new status quo of the future.
Tourism is going to take a huge kick in the pants. If there is no good reason to vacation here (IE- economic good fortune) then the people will not come. Former yearly visitors to Canada will get smart and choose to visit within their own country instead of taking a monetary loss just to have a good time. In Canada we have come to depend heavily on tourism, especially in the region in which I live over the winter months. We have some of the best skiing in the world in Canada, but Canada will cease to be the close to home solution for those wanting to get their ski –on.
You see… to me this is the thing that nightmares are made of. Canada is neither a rich country nor is it a poor country, it is a median, make the best of what we’ve got country and I like to think we do rather well in that department no matter what it is we are facing, but when I see scores of people flocking across to the US to do their shopping, spending frivolously and forgetting that this current economic trend hasn’t been happening long enough to call it more than a gas bubble in the course of history, it truly makes me fear what the future might hold.
Hell can go to “in hand basket” status in the blink of an eye, but hey, we’ll be a well dressed country and when we can’t afford to eat we can brag that we got our jeans for $12.99 at an outlet mall across the border when the dollar was high.