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Last week I was honoured to speak to a graduating class at Algonquin College here in Ottawa. It was incredibly uplifting to see hundreds of young people celebrating their educational achievements and preparing to embark on new careers.
Despite the many challenges of the last few years, these new graduates demonstrated focus and fortitude to get to where they are today. I see them as leaders in their communities, in their workplaces and among their peers.
You don’t need a fancy title to be a leader. No one has a monopoly on great ideas.
I have the privilege of working with some of Canada’s top business leaders and they share some common attributes. They are creative thinkers and problem solvers. They demonstrate adaptability and empathy.
As we prepare to mark Canada Day, I’m challenging you to be a leader … to step up … to look for creative solutions to problems … to help those in need … to suggest new, innovative ways of doing things … to reach out to people who may not share the same point of view … to talk with each other and, more importantly, listen to what others are saying.
I have always had faith in the collective wisdom of Canadians to help find a way forward. There’s a leader in all of us. We all have an important role to play in making Canada the best place in the world in which to live, work, invest and grow.
President and CEO
Business Council of Canada
February 20, 2024
February 5, 2024
Last week we released the Council’s first-ever immigration survey with insights from 80 member companies that collectively employ 1.65 million Canadians. More than a million job openings remain unfilled in Canada and more than two million people are waiting for their immigration applications to be processed. Our survey results shed light on why attracting skilled workers is critically important for business investment and Canada’s economic future.
Ahead of next week’s CUSMA Free Trade Commission meetings in Vancouver, I shared some thoughts in the Financial Post on three issues that pose a risk to the Canada-U.S. relationship: dairy imports, digital taxes and defence spending. It’s in Canada’s national interest to address these irritants to prove to Americans that we honour commitments we have made.
It was another busy month for the Council’s policy team whose thought leadership and advocacy work touched on several important issues facing the country, including:
- At a time when more than a million jobs remain unfilled in Canada, Robert Asselin co-authored a paper with Scotiabank’s chief economist, Jean-François Perrault, proposing ideas to retain and attract workers in their 50s and 60s.
- The labour crunch was also the main theme of Trevor Neiman’s joint op-ed with Jennifer Quaid, CEO of the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange. They discuss why skills training and talent should be central to Canada’s new national cyber security strategy.
Louise Blais, the newest addition to the Council’s team, joined me to close out this season of Speaking of Business for a conversation about her career as a diplomat and the importance of putting U.S. relations at the heart of Canada’s foreign policy.