The bottom line? The world has missed its friendly giant over the past five years, but it's not dead; it has just been sleeping. Fortunately for us all, it's not just in a post-hibernation stupor; it has had a good dose of coffee, is hungry, and ready to go. Canadian exporters, get ready to take advantage.
Exporters are less upbeat about domestic economic conditions. The balance of opinion for this indicator was the only one to fall, edging back marginally to 13 per cent. Paradoxically, they are more positive about domestic sales, where the balance of opinion rose 9 percentage points to 43 percent of those surveyed.
Five years beyond the economic crisis, we are still looking for that solid year of growth. It has been a long time coming, but there is a growing pile of evidence that suggests 2014 is going to mark a significant positive departure from recent experience. Here are six reasons to believe that things are finally on the up-and-up.
The solutions are to either improve government transfers or to improve access to viable retirement savings vehicles. So what has Canada done? The opposite. In the name of more sustainable government budgets, the eligibility age for OAS has been raised from 65 to 67 leaving those who cannot hang on for the extra two years without a safety net.
North Americans are presented with a vision of heavenly perfection in Swedish daycare but in reality, education outcomes are declining, teens are anxiety-ridden and misbehaving and the quality of parenting is suffering. Let's start with the ever deteriorating psychological health of Swedish youth, which has become a major concern in Swedish public debate today.
Students have a right to expect to find meaningful work after they graduate. Unfortunately, there are many young people who can't get hired because they don't have the right education and skills. This is commonly referred to as the skills mismatch -- the mismatch between the credentials held by people seeking work and the qualifications sought by employers.
Canada prides itself on its youth. We score sixth on the Organization for Economic and Co-operative Development's international evaluations of the education of 15-year-olds around the world. But some students are missing from these evaluations: the test is not administered to First Nations students, or students with intellectual disabilities, or newcomers learning English or French, or incarcerated youth. How many young people are we going to sweep under the rug?
Thursday, Telus CEO Darren Entwistle was campaigning at the Globe and Mail and National Post, warning of a "bloodbath" if the government sticks with its commitment to allow for a set-aside of spectrum for new entrants such as Verizon. While the companies frame their arguments around level playing fields, the real goal is simply to keep competition out of the country.
Tax arbitrage, or moving operations and tax liabilities to low-cost jurisdictions, has been a game played by rich people and multinationals for years. But the game is ending finally. This will have implications in terms of government revenues to pay for social services but will also have a negative impact on the profits and share prices of giants such as Google, Amazon and virtually every multinational that's a household name.