For Canadian employers, the overall business environment raises many questions. What can we do to drive growth? How can we improve productivity while still controlling costs? How can we produce high-quality goods and services to remain competitive both at home and globally?
Dad was once the ATM; he's less absent now, more engaged in family life. As women "lean in" to the workplace and assert themselves, as they should, men are leaning out. This wreaks uncertainty on the economy, but there is a star of brilliant light looming over the ocean, visible in the ever-rising storm.
In just the first two weeks of January, the prime minister announced another $250 million for the Automotive Innovation Fund -- a federal subsidy program that provides the auto sector with taxpayer cash for research and development. I say let companies duke it out without taxpayers being forced into the ring.
The management of public finances may not have received due attention from the premiers in Halifax. But as our federal and provincial political leaders gear up for next year's budget season, they would be wise to acknowledge the seriousness of growing government debt and put forth bold plans to balance their budgets. Kicking the debt down the road simply isn't an option.
As a nation built to a great extent on immigration, Canada boasts a rich ethnic diversity. Census data show that by far, the largest group has its roots in Western Europe. Analysts and policymakers often lament that economic growth does not reflect this makeup. Within the diaspora in Canada is a hidden goldmine of opportunity to further connect and trade with the fastest-growing markets of the world.
The way Harper made his decision on the new foreign ownership rules is dangerous and undemocratic. Canada has legislation, the Investment Canada Act, that sets out the process and requirements for foreign purchases. Strange that the deal that prompted him to develop the policy will be immune from the policy. Can he choose to ignore his own rules the next time?
Contrary to what you might have heard, it's impossible to judge the CNOOC-Nexen affair until the public receives some clarity regarding the list of undertakings that CNOOC has promised the federal government. And when those undertakings are made public, it's going to be pretty interesting to see what kind of measures the government required of CNOOC, a Chinese state-owned enterprise, in order to create a net benefit for Canada.
On a recent trip to Kenya, my friend and his family crashed head on into an example of why some developing countries cannot grow and prosper. As they were about to board their flight from Nairobi, the clerk at the exit gate said there was a problem with their boarding passes. Before she returned them and before they could board the flight, they were told they must pay $800 to correct the "problem."
The New American City being held this week in Kansas City, Mo. will draw business and local government leaders from more than 50 U.S. and Canadian cities. They'll be arguing the crumbling infrastructures whose refurbishment we may view at net drains on our wallets in fact hold value and the potential for economic boom if they are properly rebuilt and maintained.
Canada's fiscal hardheadedness and pro-growth economic policies, along with its tremendous resource wealth, are the real examples that the United States can and should follow (the United States has great resource wealth too, thankfully).
Economically, Canada is doing fine and has taken action to address challenges, but a recent series of events and articles from Washington think tanks claim that the United States can fix its fiscal and economic problems by imitating Canada. Justin Bieber can sing "Never Say Never" forever, but I'll still stick with never.
With respect to those who suggest we henceforth do without the British Monarchy, there wouldn't be a Canada without the British Monarchy. This trumps everything as regards this debate. We have real problems in Canada at the moment -- and the British Monarchy isn't one of them.
The beginning of the New Year brings an opportunity akin to other pundits about how trends or results will come to the fore in 2012. It is tempting to simply say there will be another crisis as usual in the Eurozone, with austerity measures becoming more embedded. But the damage this year will likely extend to the global image of the E.U.
We look around the world and see protests and threats of state bankruptcies in Europe, persistent unemployment and debt crises in the U.S., and even worries of a slowdown in China. But Canada keeps chugging along.
Peak oil as it turns out isn't about supply but rather demand. It is a concept rooted more in economics than geology. It doesn't matter if there are billions of barrels of oil waiting to be tapped from oil sands or oil shales if the prices to extract them are beyond our economies' capacity to pay.
Do we understand exactly what has historically earned us top marks in the world's balanced scorecard -- and are we doing everything we can to maintain that wonderful distinction, primarily on behalf of those who will inherit this beautiful country from us?