We can officially use the "R" word now.  Canada’s economy shrank for two quarters in a row, which meets the official definition of a recession.

What does this mean for local businesses, if anything at all? That one word "recession" doesn't mean a whole lot unless you're affected by it; if you're looking for work, if you're impacted by the oil and gas sector.

While the Ottawa area isn't recession-proof, a strong public sector has made us fairly immune. Take a local manufacturing company, for instance, in the business of selling waterslides world-wide.

The twists and turns are wicked but those are the only downward spirals that Proslide Technology is seeing.

The Ottawa-based company exports its designs around the world and business is booming, recession or not.

‘Whenever there' s a recession,’ says David Alexander, the vice-president and chief financial officer of Proslide, ‘it affects confidence in the country but industry specific, turning to Proslide, what's important is an environment  where we have a weaker dollar because we sell in US dollars. That's favorable for us.’ 

Across the country, though, there are some not so favorable numbers.  The resource sector slid another 4.5%, shrinking Canada's economy overall by half a percent, the second consecutive quarter without growth.  Between April and June, the economy, on an annualized basis, shrunk 0.5%, after contracting at a 0.8% annual pace between January and March, according to Statistics Canada.

Still, many sectors, particularly the service sector, are doing well, especially in Ottawa.

Glen Hodgson, the chief economist with the Conference Board of Canada, says while the capital suffered from federal government downsizing, Ottawa’s economy is diversified.

‘So if you're in high end services such as financial, government, education, health care, those parts are all growing; maybe not by 3% or 5% but growing at about 2% on a sustained basis is okay and that's the Ottawa area economy.’

Ottawa resident David Jeanvenna feels it.

‘I’m in the painting and construction business and I seem to be doing quite well.’

Ottawa student Matt Mercer, on the other hand, worries about the future, ‘I'm about to graduate next year to another economy in full-fledged recession and I worry about my prospects of getting a job, I worry about where I will move to work and what I will get paid so I can get on with my life.’

For an Ottawa thrift store, a recession is both good and bad news, bringing in more business.

‘I don't think Ottawa is recession proof at all,’ says Melodie Conlon with St. John’s Community Store, ‘I think people will feel it here just as much as people elsewhere and I think you'll see people who never thought of shopping in a second hand store before coming and taking a look around.’

While the numbers are down, there are signs of growth for June.  Economists are suggesting people enjoy the rest of summer and look forward to a stronger economy in the days ahead.