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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Performance and Potential 2005-06: The World and Canada: Trends Reshaping Our Future

Special Report by Conference Board of Canada

In this annual Special Report, the Conference Board of Canada (CBC) takes both a retrospective and prospective look at Canada and the critical factors that affect the quality of life of Canadians.

The first of five chapters looks at Canada from an empirical perspective, grading it in key areas including the economy, innovation, environment, education and skill level, health, and society. In each of these areas the Conference Board assigns Canada a ranking relative to 12 other OECD countries. In this context, Canada ranked twelfth based on its economy, fifth in innovation, eighth in the environment, third for education and skill, tenth in terms of health, and eleventh in social justice, cohesion and fairness.

The second chapter in this Conference Board Special Report is entitled Making Connections: The New World of Integrative Trade and Canada. This section looks at Canada’s trading partners, examining relationships with traditional trading partners as well as those in emerging markets. The report emphasizes that Canada must develop significant trade relationships with those countries that have growing middle classes. This chapter also explores Canada’s adjustment to the new global production system, as well as the global supply chain. The findings, however, are not positive, and the report suggests that Canada is a fading economic power. The report makes policy suggestions, and considers where future improvements could be made.

In the report’s third chapter, the goal of sustainable development for Canada is explored. The authors explain that as global demand increases, so too will calls for increased environmental performance in terms of our productivity and investment in the sector. The authors then examine several resource industries in detail, including the oil and gas, forestry, and water resource sectors, as well as the challenges each faces. The chapter concludes with recommendations for specific policy changes that could improve Canada’s long-term environmental outlook.

The fourth chapter addresses the issue of Canada’s aging population and its economic implications vis-à-vis a decreasing workforce and an increasingly dependent society. In this context, the Conference Board presents suggested policy options to tackle this growing issue, including: increasing immigration; offering incentives for couples to have children; encouraging workers to take later retirement; increasing adult education; and, helping older workers find employment. The paper also reviews methods that could be used by private companies to help alleviate future issues by promoting the recruitment and retention of older workers. Finally, the paper suggests reforming both the private and public pension systems to ensure they are more sustainable.

The fifth and final chapter of the report looks at global security trends and Canada’s future. Here the authors identify three major areas of risk: conflict-related risk, risk pertaining to society and health care, and economic and technological risks. According to the Conference Board, fluctuations in innovation, level of specialization, international liberalization and integration could create economic risks and rewards for Canada because they may simultaneously increase profit revenue and vulnerability to the market. The section concludes with a look at the implications such realities could have for policy.

The report concludes that although Canada is doing well in the international economic and social system, we must realize the need to be flexible while valuing policies that will address long-term problems; this will enable Canada’s overall standing in the world to improve.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Conference Board of Canada;
Publisher: Conference Board of Canada [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2005; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Military & Defence / National Security
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Sustainable Development
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Globalization
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets / Retirement & Pensions
Policy Articles / Economy / State of the Economy
Policy Articles / Economy / State of the Economy / 2005
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Sustainable Development / 2005
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets / Retirement & Pensions / 2005
Policy Articles / Military & Defence / National Security / 2005
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Globalization / 2005
Policy Articles / Economy
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets
Policy Articles / Military & Defence

Keywords / Tags:

Canada; international system; trade; sustainable development; economy; innovation; education; health; security; defence; social security; markets; trading relationships; aging population; pensions; global security; conflict; risk;