Creating a more competitive and productive Canada will take time as well as focused policy directions and investments. Based on the work of our organizations, and our shared objectives, we have identified the three following policy and investment priorities:
Strategic Economic Infrastructure: ensuring adequate investment is made to ensure efficient and effective movement of goods, people, energy and information. This is through the recognition that investment in transportation infrastructure is an investment in Canada’s strategic assets that contribute to the economic health of the country. Strategic economic infrastructure includes airports, ports, roads, bridges, pipelines, telecommunications and public transit. All strategic economic infrastructure should be provided with predictable and increased investment so that they can competitively service the needs of business thereby ensuring greater resilience, health and expansion of our national economy. Our focus for 2016 is improving the global competitiveness of Canada’s international airports. Attachment 1 outlines our recommendations.
Talent: ensuring that the Canadian workforce is skilled, prepared for, and able to compete in the advanced innovation economy that will drive our prosperity is essential. Canada is falling behind in terms of its workforce capability, productivity and is expected to realize shortages in critical sectors over the coming years as retirement of the baby boomers accelerates. To ensure that Canada has the entrepreneurial, diverse and technologically skilled workforce needed for the future we must ensure adequate public policy and investment is made in the areas of:
- Improvement to Canada’s immigration processes to attract greater skilled talent;
- Enhancements to the Temporary Foreign Worker program and regulations;
- Improved labour mobility;
- Skills, training and entrepreneurial development of indigenous peoples;
Trade and Competitiveness: ensuring effective implementation of the trade agreements in force, and recently signed, between Canada and other nations within the big city regions. This requires adequate investment so that there are knowledgeable advisors of each agreement located in major urban centres that can work with individual businesses to create maximum trade benefit for Canadian companies.