Canada’s Ap­proach: A Model for the Global Com­mu­nity

Rotman Management Magazine - - FROM THE EDITOR -

Canada’s com­mit­ment to in­clu­sive growth and its am­bi­tious plan to re­vi­tal­ize its econ­omy, fos­ter long-term growth and strengthen the mid­dle class pro­vides a model for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. Cen­tral to this plan is Canada’s continued com­mit­ment to di­ver­sity, im­mi­gra­tion and global in­vest­ment.

Canada’s ap­proach rec­og­nizes that there are no quick and easy so­lu­tions to fos­ter­ing, broadly-shared growth, which is why its gov­ern­ment is us­ing a broad set of pol­icy levers. It be­gan by tak­ing steps to cre­ate fairer in­come dis­tri­bu­tion through the pro­vi­sion of di­rect in­come sup­port. Ben­e­fits for low- and mid­dlein­come fam­i­lies with chil­dren were in­creased, which is ex­pected to re­duce the num­ber of chil­dren liv­ing in poverty by roughly 40 per cent. In­come taxes have also been re­duced for nearly nine mil­lion mid­dle-class Cana­di­ans.

The gov­ern­ment has taken im­por­tant steps to rein­vig­o­rate growth, start­ing with in­creased in­vest­ment in pub­lic in­fras­truc­ture; re­dou­bling of ef­forts to at­tract for­eign cap­i­tal through the es­tab­lish­ment of a new agency, the In­vest in Canada Hub; and changes to Canada’s im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem to pro­vide faster ac­cess to top global tal­ent. New in­vest­ments in in­fras­truc­ture to­tal­ing $95 bil­lion will boost eco­nomic growth and so­cial in­clu­sion by re­duc­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion and com­mute times, and by pro­vid­ing more af­ford­able hous­ing. A new in­sti­tu­tion, the

Canada In­fras­truc­ture Bank, will be set up to fo­cus on at­tract­ing pri­vate cap­i­tal to spur in­no­va­tive fund­ing and fi­nanc­ing for in­fras­truc­ture projects. This bank will work with gov­ern­ments and in­vestors to pro­vide bet­ter re­sults for mid­dle-class Cana­di­ans by iden­ti­fy­ing po­ten­tial projects and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties that con­trib­ute to larger eco­nomic, so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal re­turns.

The Gov­ern­ment of Canada has also in­tro­duced im­por­tant mea­sures to ad­vance gen­der equal­ity. Bud­get 2016 in­cluded new in­vest­ments in Sta­tus of Women Canada — a gov­ern­ment agency that pro­motes equal­ity for women and their full par­tic­i­pa­tion in the eco­nomic, so­cial and demo­cratic life of the coun­try — to en­hance its ca­pac­ity to pro­vide gov­ern­ment-wide sup­port on the gen­der-based analysis of pro­grams, poli­cies, and leg­is­la­tion.

Canada is chang­ing the way it looks at the per­for­mance of its econ­omy by adopt­ing a new lens that mea­sures progress dif­fer­ently, plac­ing greater weight on broad-based gains rather than strict eco­nomic mea­sure­ments that might miss the big­ger pic­ture. This new per­spec­tive com­bines met­rics like job cre­ation with equally im­por­tant out­comes like qual­ity of life, job sat­is­fac­tion, poverty re­duc­tion and ac­cess to op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Canada rec­og­nizes that the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors must work to­gether to help cre­ate con­di­tions for suc­cess. In March 2016, Canada’s Min­is­ter of Fi­nance an­nounced the cre­ation of an Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on Eco­nomic Growth to fo­cus on pol­icy ac­tions that gen­er­ate strong and sus­tained long-term growth that is shared across in­come groups. The Coun­cil has used the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s Frame­work for In­clu­sive Growth to eval­u­ate the im­pli­ca­tions of its rec­om­men­da­tions for in­clu­sive­ness.

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