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American, Canadian, and Mexican flags


Canada faces a delicate balancing act between defending current market access provided in the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and updating the agreement to meet the requirements of a 21st-century economy. Freer trade in North America has led to significant benefits for all three countries, including the United States, with U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico supporting nearly 3 million jobs. Canada should come to the table with the objective of expanding, improving, and strengthening NAFTA.


Business people sitting around a table  

Canada’s Business Services Industries

Many of Canada’s business services industries have been hurt by weaknesses in the energy sector and economy over the past two years. However, most will see improvements this year due to slightly higher oil prices and an accelerating pace of job creation. Our new industry profiles for the accounting, advertising, consulting, and engineering industries forecast that all are set to see improved growth, while output in the employment services and real estate industries will moderate but remain healthy. The engineering and consulting industries will also benefit from the federal government’s plan to increase infrastructure spending.

Hand holding a card that says 'Great Work'  

The Power of Appreciation

Most Canadian organizations use their rewards and recognition programs to increase employee engagement, with long-service recognition being the most prevalent, followed by retirement. However, these may not be effective at motivating younger workers, who typically have an average of five different employers over a 10-year span and likely won’t be around long enough to reap the rewards. Not surprisingly, only 37 per cent of Canadian organizations surveyed felt that their rewards programs considered the multiple generations in the workforce.

Maple leaf and its shadow  

Canada Beyond 150

As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, a return to growth in the resource-rich provinces and continued strong performances in the rest of the country will stimulate solid economic growth this year. Beyond 2017, however, growth will be increasingly constrained by population aging and tepid productivity growth. The baby-boom generation’s exiting of the labour force will shrink the pool of available labour and slow economic potential considerably. Over the next 20 years, Canada’s economy will average more modest growth of 1.8 per cent. This will have major implications for all Canadians and all levels of government.

Maple leaf mosaic illustration  

Immigration Governance in the 21st Century

In the 1990s, most of Canada’s provinces and territories joined the federal government to play a consistent role in governing immigration. The two levels often grapple with how to effectively balance federal and provincial/territorial immigration goals. A new aspirational approach for governing immigration suggests the federal government could continue to manage admissions, enforcement, and citizenship, while the two levels would continue to share selection responsibilities. The federal government would maintain its national oversight role while accommodating, to the best of its abilities, the selection requests made by the provinces and territories based on their various needs. Lastly, federally and provincially/territorially funded immigrant settlement services would continue to operate concurrently, with better coordination between the two parties.

Paper being spooled in a factory  

Canada’s Paper Products Industry

Canadian pulp producers continue to face a severe global oversupply that has weakened demand for their products abroad. Paper mills have not fared much better, as the trend toward digitalized media continues to weaken demand for traditional reading and writing papers. The industry’s growth will depend on its ability to transition away from traditional paper markets and produce paper products for markets that have stronger outlooks, such as packaging, labelling, and sanitary papers. Despite the challenges, pre-tax profits are expected to improve to $950 million by 2021 as labour costs remain contained, allowing revenues to outstrip costs through the forecast.

CBoC Highlights

Craig Alexander speaking
We are pleased to present our new corporate video highlighting our mission statement and our importance to Canadians. Craig Alexander discusses the potential for an interest rate hike and what this might mean for Canadians on CTV’s “Your Morning.”
Infographic thumbnail Infographic thumbnail
This infographic shows our five recommendations for Canada in the NAFTA renegotiations. Craig Alexander spoke at the Atkinson Centre’s Summer Institute event on the cost of inequity and the role of early childhood education in closing the gap.

In This Issue

  • NAFTA 2.0
  • Canada’s Business Services Industries
  • The Power of Appreciation
  • Canada Beyond 150
  • Immigration Governance in the 21st Century
  • Canada’s Paper Products Industry

Previous Issues

Keep Up to Date

Popular Reports

The Power of Appreciation: Rewards and Recognition Practices in Canadian Organizations
(June 2017)

Provincial Outlook Executive Summary: Spring 2017
(May 2017)

NAFTA 2.0 and Canada: Upgrading a 20th-Century Deal for a 21st-Century World
(June 2017)

Recent Op-Eds

What Ever Happened to the Trump Growth Takeoff? The Globe and Mail, June 26, 2017

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Mobilizing for Canada’s Energy Future: The Devil Is in the Details, The Globe and Mail, May 30, 2017

Latest Blogs

Nationalism Hasn’t Gone Away

June 22, 2017

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May 04, 2017

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April 28, 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


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