A better future for Canadians – Report and recommendations

Date: October 30, 2019

Publication Type: Reports

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The Business Council of Canada launched the Task Force on Canada’s Economic Future, which engaged Canadians from across the country to advance policies that enhance growth and ensure a better future for all.

The Task Force’s report and recommendations outline how governments, businesses and other stakeholders can work together to strengthen Canada’s economic capacity, accelerate growth and spur investment for the benefit of all citizens. At the same time, it calls on employers to enhance Canada’s human potential by embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, promoting mental health and supporting a more skilled and innovative workforce.


Read the full report


Recommendations to Government

Modernize the regulatory environment

Canada should commit to the goal of being the most efficiently regulated country on earth, as measured by the World Bank’s “Doing Business” index and the World Economic Forum’s annual Competitiveness rankings.

Read this section of the report
Prioritize nationally significant infrastructure projects

The federal government should establish an independent statutory body with a mandate to identify and prioritize nationally significant infrastructure projects.

Read this section of the report
Modernize and simplify the tax system

The federal government should launch an independent review of Canada’s tax system aimed at strengthening the country’s ability to attract and retain business investment and talent.

Read this section of the report
Rethink Canadian foreign policy for a changing world

Canada should adopt a more pragmatic and realistic approach to foreign policy that advances the country’s national interests and strengthens our defences against emerging risks, including digital and cybersecurity threats.

Read this section of the report
Increase immigration inflows to build the future labour force Canada needs

To offset Canada’s aging population and expand the country’s economic capacity, the federal government should set an annual target for new arrivals equal to one per cent of the country’s population, starting in 2021.

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Develop a national resource and climate strategy

Early in its mandate, the new government should convene a First Ministers’ Meeting to begin development of a national resource strategy, with the goal of strengthening Canada as a location of choice for leading-edge resource companies that demonstrate how to achieve superior economic and environmental performance.

Read this section of the report


Our commitments

To meet these responsibilities, we recommend and commit to the following

A generation ago, when this country’s unemployment rate was double today’s level, the most pressing challenge in Canadian economic policy was how to generate enough jobs for the number of people who wanted to work. Today we face the opposite challenge: ensuring that Canada has enough skilled people for the work that needs doing. Canada’s economic performance therefore will be heavily influenced by how successful we are in making the most of our country’s human resources.

This is not just an economic imperative, because building a better future for Canadians is not simply a matter of increasing Canada’s overall GDP. There is also a moral imperative to promote greater opportunity and ensure that the benefits of growth are felt by all citizens.

As employers we are especially conscious of our own responsibility to nurture Canada’s human capital. Immigration is and will continue to be an important source of labour force growth, but at the same time it is incumbent on us to help dismantle the barriers that impede the labour force participation of under- represented groups such as women, Indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities. According to the Conference Board of Canada, improved participation rates could add 2.2 million workers to the labour force by 2040, as well as $101 billion to the economy.

The long-term success of our companies and the Canadian economy depends on businesses investing in people. In addition to promoting diversity and inclusion, Canadian companies can help build a smarter and more resilient workforce by expanding experiential learning opportunities for young people who are still in school, developing and enhancing training programs to enrich the skills of adult workers, and supporting the next generation of Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs.

The six areas where Business Council members are prepared to expand opportunities for Canadians include:

  • Improve labour force participation among Indigenous people
  • Implement specific policy actions for greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Promote the adoption of proven mental health strategies by businesses of all sizes
  • Invest in employee learning and development
  • Expand career opportunities for young Canadians
  • Support the next generation of Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs
Read this section of the report
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