Since January of this year, I've made my best stock market profit from "The Royal Bank of Canada" (i.e. RY.TO). It has climbed more than 8 dollars a share in three weeks. All of the Canadian Banks have done well over that time period.
The highest paying dividend stocks in Canada are banks. Even with the recent surge in their stock prices, every bank is well below it's 52 week high.
In previous recessions, it was the bank stocks that led the recovery.
Banks attract big money from pensions and mutual funds, so I think its the best place to put your money in the first half of 2009.