Canadian Plastics

“Keep buggering on”

Canadian Plastics   

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't 2010 supposed to the year of the economic comeback?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t 2010 supposed to the year of the economic comeback?

Oh, sure, there was some good news: Canada’s banking system remains sound, overall employment is up from 12 months ago and so, too, are domestic auto sales.

But that’s about where it ends. Last March, economists were forecasting a 3.1 per cent economic expansion in Canada; within three months, that figure was revised downward, as weaker than expected U.S. GDP growth gummed up the works for the Canadian recovery. As if on cue, Canada’s manufacturing sector shed 14,000 jobs between May and June alone.

Hanging over it all was/is the fear of a double-dip recession. This concern isn’t exactly unprecedented, of course: there’s never been a recession — ever — where people didn’t fret over a double dip. But the Great Recession has been atypical, making worries seem even more justified this time around. (Here’s what we do know: Warren Buffet says it won’t happen, while Conrad Black says it will.)


And to top it all off, bisphenol A (BPA) has just been declared toxic in Canada, a finding that flies in the face of most of the available research. This doesn’t mean much when stacked against all the other bad news, granted, but it strikes me as putting a symbolic period at the end of an often frustrating year.

So where do we go from here? Well, perhaps Winston Churchill said it best, albeit in a different context: “Keep buggering on.” There’s plenty of chances for our industry to KBO in the months to come: the K 2010 show in Dusseldorf is right around the corner, for example, and Canada’s own Plast-Ex event isn’t too far behind, And on a global scale, there’s a whole lot of glass, paper and steel just begging to be replaced by plastic in more applications than you or I can count.

So here’s hoping that when we meet in 12 months time to perform our post mortem on 2011, we’ll find a much healthier specimen to survey.

Mark Stephen, editor


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