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Doing More With Less: Energy Efficiency in Canada

Canada is currently one of the most energy-intensive OECD countries, and as it transitions toward a lower-carbon future, improved energy efficiency could contribute to efforts to address climate change by reducing both energy use and growth in energy demand. Canada could reduce its energy consumption by as much as 15 per cent from current levels by 2035 if it was to pursue energy efficiency improvements more aggressively. Key residential areas for potential energy savings include lighting, space heating, and household electronics; in the commercial sector, lighting, computers, and HVAC equipment hold the most promise. But while improved efficiency can help lower Canadian energy demand, it is not a complete solution to help Canada meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.


Electrical wall plug  

Canada’s Electric Utilities Industry

Behind the delivery of electricity to our residences and workplaces lies a vast supply chain of infrastructure and a complex, robust, and economically important sector: Canada’s electric utilities industry. In 2016, this industry (including generation, transmission, and distribution) contributed nearly $30 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employed around 100,000 workers across the country. Investments in the industry were near all-time highs, exceeding $19 billion last year and accounting for over 10 per cent of Canada’s total non-residential business investment.

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Territorial Outlook

Economic prospects for the territories are improving thanks to higher prices for metals, precious metals, and diamonds. While financing conditions in the mining sector remain difficult, they should improve with several projects set to get under way before the end of the decade. Yukon can expect a mild contraction of 0.7 per cent this year, followed by strong growth between 2018–20. The Gahcho Kué diamond mine is entering full production in 2017, fuelling GDP growth of 12.2 per cent in the Northwest Territories this year. Nunavut’s economy will expand by 6.4 per cent this year thanks to planned mineral production increases at Meadowbank and Mary River.

Woman with arms around her senior mother  

Balancing Work and Eldercare in Canada

Over one-quarter of employed Canadians provide care and assistance to an elderly family member, which may cause significant physical, emotional, and financial pressures. Employees struggling to balance work and eldercare may experience elevated stress levels, absenteeism, and work interruptions, including missing work, receiving and making phone calls related to eldercare, and worrying about the care recipient while at work. Eldercare obligations cost Canadian organizations an estimated $1.28 billion per year in lost productivity. Despite these substantial costs and implications, formal eldercare programs are uncommon in Canadian organizations.

Construction crane  

Metropolitan Outlook

The weaker Canadian dollar and solid U.S. demand continue to provide a lift to several metropolitan economies in Ontario and Quebec, especially to their export-oriented manufacturing industries. Oshawa and Windsor are expected to boast the fastest-growing economies among the 15 cities covered in the summer edition of our Metropolitan Outlook, with growth of 2.5 per cent forecast for both cities this year. The remaining cities in the report can expect growth between 0.2 and 2.3 per cent in 2017, although St. John’s, N.L., will continue to struggle, contracting by 1.1 per cent.

Young man holding a coffee cup  

Refreshing the Public Sector Brand

Public sector HR leaders are increasingly concerned that attracting new workers to the public sector has become more difficult as it competes against the private sector. With nearly half of its new hires expected to be millennials, HR leaders at all levels in the Canadian public sector need to promote the purposeful nature and social impact of public service work if they are to address the skill shortages and mismatches predicted in the coming years.

Two firefighters  

Emergency Response to Terrorism Events

Terrorism-related emergencies require complex, quick, and dynamic responses, as many stakeholders are involved. They combine various challenges that add layers of complexity and volatility not present in other emergency situations. The attack in Ottawa on October 22, 2014, showed that Canada is not immune to this threat and there are areas, such as communication and effective partnerships, that need better implementation. While these types of events have had a limited impact on Canada in the recent past, it is important to learn from them so that Canadian emergency-response stakeholders can be better prepared and more resilient should they have to face such an emergency in the future.

CBoC Highlights

Craig Alexander speaking Infographic thumbnail
Craig Alexander, Chief Economist, joined CBC’s “On the Money” to discuss declining Canadian home sales and the impact of rising interest rates and government policies aimed at cooling Canada’s hot real estate markets. This infographic illustrates some of the key labour market challenges that skilled immigrants face upon their arrival in Canada. (infographic has not been posted to the website)

In This Issue

  • Doing More With Less: Energy Efficiency in Canada
  • Canada’s Electric Utilities Industry
  • Territorial Outlook
  • Balancing Work and Eldercare in Canada
  • Metropolitan Outlook
  • Refreshing the Public Sector Brand
  • Emergency Response to Terrorism Events

Previous Issues

Popular Reports

Provincial Outlook Executive Summary: Summer 2017 (August 2017)

Canadian Outlook Executive Summary: Summer 2017 (July 2017)

The Juggling Act: Balancing Work and Eldercare in Canada (August 2017)

Territorial Outlook Economic Forecast: Summer 2017 (August 2017)

Recent Op-Eds

Canada’s Economic Growth: Is This as Good as It Gets?, The Globe and Mail, August 11, 2017

The Opportunity of Green Trade, The Globe and Mail, August 22, 2017

Building Resilience to Terrorism, FrontLine Safety and Security, August 22, 2017

Canada Needs to Take Its Green Trade to the Global Market, The Globe and Mail, August 23, 2017

Latest Blogs

Hurricane Harvey: Emerging Insights for Emergency Management

August 30, 2017

5G Networks—The Future is Here!

August 14, 2017

The Growing Threat of Fake News

August 14, 2017

Upcoming Events

2017 Waterloo Region Business Outlook
Sep 7 | Kitchener

Business [Un]Usual: Profit From Purpose
Oct 2–3 | Toronto

The Better Workplace Conference 2017
Oct 24–26 | Toronto


Canadian Outlook with the Chief Economist: Keeping the Momentum Going
Sep 20 at 11:00 AM

Risk Management in the 21st Century: Linking Foresight to Strategic Risk
Sep 20 at 2:00 PM

Still Moving: Implementing Mindful Change
Sep 21 at 11:00 AM

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