Canada’s leading businesses are urging the federal government to deliver a budget that focuses on long-term growth and job creation.
“If we are serious about building back better, we must recognize that a stronger economy is fundamental to solving many of society’s most challenging issues,” says Goldy Hyder, President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, in a pre-budget letter to Chrystia Freeland, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
Drawing on several recent reports, including the Council’s “Powering a Strong Recovery” and the Industry Strategy Council’s “Restart, Recover and Reimagine Prosperity for all Canadians,” the letter highlights seven key recommendations to promote an inclusive and resilient post-pandemic economy:
Training and re-skilling: Work with employers, provinces and territories to develop a comprehensive skills agenda that rapidly equips displaced workers for new careers in sectors where talent is in high demand.
Child care and early learning: Invest in improvements to the quality, reliability, affordability and flexibility of early learning and child care services across the country.
Immigration: Prioritize initiatives and programs that facilitate the entry of skilled immigrants and remove barriers to their labour market integration.
Business confidence: Promote private sector investment by committing to a responsible and prudent post-pandemic fiscal plan that avoids unnecessary new spending, provides regulatory predictability and includes a clear fiscal anchor.
Innovation ecosystem: Embrace a demand-side, mission-driven approach to innovation policy that sets clear national goals with the creation of an agency similar to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
R&D and IP: Take steps to help Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs understand, protect and capture value from their intellectual property by adopting a Germany/Fraunhofer approach to R&D commercialization and IP protection.
Climate change: Set a clear path to accelerate public and private investments in existing and emerging GHG-reduction opportunities – including carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS), hydrogen, renewable electricity and natural gas, and other clean technologies.
“For the economic recovery from COVID-19 to be durable and resilient, the budget must establish a responsible and credible fiscal framework,” writes Hyder. “The members of the Business Council of Canada stand ready to work with you and all parliamentarians in forging a better, stronger, more productive economy that benefits all Canadians.”
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