Advisory group’s economic blueprint calls for dramatic increase in immigration, foreign investment
Sean Silcoff And Bill Curry
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 5:00AM EDT
A group of external advisers to Finance Minister Bill Morneau will call on the government this week to dramatically increase the level of immigration and foreign investment coming in to Canada to stimulate a sluggish economy in future years.
Their recommendations include increasing immigration by 50 per cent to 450,000 people annually over five years while easing the process for high-skilled and entrepreneurial foreigners to come here; building a new department to entice foreign direct investment into Canada; and creating an arm’s length infrastructure bank. The recommendations were confirmed by several senior sources who spoke with The Globe and Mail.
Canada can outperform the world with the right plan: Navdeep Bains
IN a period of low economic growth, Canada needs to invest in developing the talent and skills of its people. Canada should also focus on turning start-up companies into globally competitive successes and use the government’s purchasing power to drive innovation.
This message was delivered by Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, at the Public Policy Forum’s Growth Summit.
Bains participated in a discussion with John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of Canada. He compared notes with Manley about the economic conditions and challenges faced by Canada during his tenure as minister of the same portfolio in the 1990s.
During the discussion, Bains emphasized the need for both government and the private sector to make smart investments in three key areas:
- * People: Expand work-integrated learning programs, such as internships, apprenticeships and continuous learning opportunities, for Canadians at every stage of their careers—from new graduates right up to the highest-ranking executives.
- * Technology: Set big horizon goals and create broad-based partnerships to fund ambitious research projects that solve complex, large-scale problems and spark commercial opportunities for the private sector.
- * Companies: Leverage the buying power of government, as the single-largest purchaser of goods and services, to support the growth of innovative companies that have the potential to be globally competitive.
Bains said: “The government is prepared to think big, aim high and act boldly to drive economic growth through innovation. Our government has a plan to create the conditions for well-paying jobs for the middle class, growth across all industries and an improved quality of life for all Canadians. With this plan, Canada can outperform the rest of the world.”
Canada’s Public Policy Forum is an independent, non-governmental organization dedicated to improving the quality of government in Canada through dialogue among leaders from all sectors of society.
Canadians have participated enthusiastically during a summer of public engagement on the Innovation Agenda: 28 round-table discussions and thousands of digital interactions have yielded over 1,300 ideas to date.