Prime Minister Stephen Harper, campaigning for a fourth term on a record of economic growth, has refused to recognize that Canada is in a recession, despite new data to the contrary.
Collapsing prices for oil — a major export — have taken their toll on Canada's economy, which has recorded its second consecutive negative quarter, the economic benchmark of a recession. It contracted at an annual pace of 0.5 percent in the second quarter and 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2015, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.
That could spell trouble for Harper, whose Conservative Party already faced an uphill battle ahead of the Oct. 19. election. Analysts call the three-way race a toss-up.