Finance Minister's update shows weakness of federal reliance on resource exports

The larger than expected federal deficit due to declining natural resource prices shows the problem with the federal government reliance on the resource sector to provide economic growth.

According to the federal Finance Minister's November 13, 2012 Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections, falling resources prices are the main reason government revenues will be lower than expected. The drop in revenues is expected to add $5.8 billion to the deficit for the current fiscal year.

Canada Needs a Modern Industrial Strategy

Canada has a long tradition of proactive industrial strategies dating back to the National Policy of our first government.  Today, it's more important than ever that the interests of people and nature be at the heart of industrial and economic policy.


Canada-China investment agreement a barrier to building Canadian economy

The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) will make it difficult for Canadian federal, provincial or municipal governments to use many of the tools used successfully in other countries to create jobs and develop the economy.

Under the agreement, Chinese companies will be entitled to the same treatment as Canadian companies. Chinese companies will also have the ability to appeal to tribunals for compensation if they can argue that federal, provincial or municipal laws or policies affect their profits.

Abuse of Temporary Foreign Worker Program shows how good jobs can go bad

The attempt of HD Mining International in British Columbia to use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to push down wages is a reminder that the difference between good and bad jobs is the ability of workers to fight for better conditions.

German government's willingness to intervene in the economy may explain country's relative success


The collapse of the proposed merger of European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Company (EADS) and BAE Systems after the German government raised concerns drew attention to the willingness of the German government to intervene in the economy when jobs are at stake. That willingness helps explain why Germany's unemployment rate is significantly lower than many countries where governments take a hands-off approach.

Proposed trade agreement with European Union would limit ability of governments to implement an industrial strategy


The proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union (EU) would make it very difficult for governments to implement an industrial strategy.

Lack of industrial strategy means Ontario may get little benefit from developing the “Ring of Fire”

An op ed from CPAWS Wildlands League pointed to the problems that could occur if mistakes are made developing the “Ring of Fire” mineral resources in Northern Ontario. These problems include environmental damage and with it the loss of lands used by First Nations.

Fixing these problems would be expensive and it would be Ontario taxpayers footing the bill.

Peter Lougheed's work a reminder that Alberta's growth had nothing to do with laissez-faire economics


Peter Lougheed was a conservative with close links to corporate Canada, but he recognized that governments have a role to play in building a strong economy.

Trade deficit figures show cost of no industrial strategy

In response to a record trade deficit in manufactured end products a Globe and Mail business columnist wrote, “it indicates a failure on the part of federal policymakers to prevent a relative deterioration of the Canadian manufacturing industry.”

Failure of governments to support research and post-secondary education making Canada less competitive


According to the report of the World Economic Forum released last week, Canada is seen as less competitive because of lack of support for research and development and post-secondary education. Lack of government support for innovation through procurement, declining university enrolment rates and low levels of workplace training were all seen as problems.