The amount of outstanding debt tripled in the 9 years from 1999 to 2008. And it is now slowly being worked off as people tighten their belts. The reason why it is taking so long for the Great Recession to disappear in a flurry of new growth is that bit at the right, the slow workdown of debt. This graph makes it clear that the workdown will be slow:
Here is a graph from the economic research team at the Bank of Montreal. This is taken from their North American Outlook monthly publication. This graph looks at "real" GDP growth (after removing inflationary effects):
And this graph shows the slow recovery in unemployment:
You can see that we have "healed" from the 2008 bubble burst. But unlike previous recessions, there was no roaring back with a big growth spurt nor a quick drop in unemployment. The reason? The debt burden being worked off. Canada didn't have the housing bust that the US had, but it -- like most of the world -- went on a debt-powered growth jag whose healing is now holding back the speed of recovery.
The above graphs should make it clear that the US and Canada are "joined at the hip" economically speaking. Each is a major trading partner of the other, so policies in one country have an impact in the other. But since the US is ten times larger, the measure of the impacts is best characterized by the relationship of an elephant and a mouse. When the elephant twitches, the mouse has to be quick to avoid being flattened. If the mouse twitches, the elephant never notices!