Through investment missions done in cooperation with Invest in Canada, the leading lights of Canada's economic development agencies have learned two clear lessons: First, the battleground for Foreign Direct Investment is at the city level; and second, the weapons employed are the relative strength of city ecosystems and talent.
Stephen Harper's Conservative government is quick to tout all it has done to improve Canada's economic competitiveness. But like competitive companies, competitive national economies require solid economic data. In scrapping the long-form census, the Harper administration has threatened the country's long-term economic prosperity.
There seems to be a prevalent trend in media and political commentary about New Brunswick; that our province is falling behind, in decline. There are no doubt serious challenges facing New Brunswick, including recent unemployment numbers that are the highest in the country, and a recent increase in outmigration rates.However, it is not all bad news.
Though this might have a counterintuitive ring, Canada's mayors -- the people who are directly responsible for Canada's cities and the most accountable to their citizens -- should have the power to make decisions about local needs and infrastructure, and the ability to raise the money they need to carry out their plans.
Toronto's business leaders like to think that they are helping to build a great global city, but casino building is city-ruining of the highest order. A downtown casino will tear holes in Toronto's urban fabric, create more costs than benefits, and send the message that Toronto is on the wrong track.
Our province offers the advantage of city and town centres in close proximity to forests and rural areas. Smaller cities and municipalities can offer a strong sense of community as well as shorter commute times and a less hectic pace of life than in centres like Toronto and Montreal -- these can be attractions to potential migrants and immigrants seeking an alternative to the big-city lifestyle.
Buying a property in a neighbourhood that is in the early stages of such a process is generally considered one of the best ways to build equity in terms of real estate investments. The media constantly runs stories along these lines. Unfortunately however, they couldn't possibly be further from the truth.
In this exclusive excerpt for HuffPost from Richard Florida's new book, the author reveals that scientists and engineers, architects and designers, artists and entertainers and the growing ranks of professional knowledge workers -- what he labels as The Creative Class" -- now number more than five million in Canada, or roughly 30 per cent of the workforce. So where do they live?