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New Conference Board Economic Indicator

The Conference Board's newly launched Composite Leading Index shows that the Canadian economy will grow in the first half of 2014 — but only modestly. The Index rose 0.3 per cent in December matching the gains made in both October and November. This trend signifies that the economy is growing, but Canadian growth will not pick up the pace until later in the year. The Composite Leading Index sums up the performance of ten components that track the short-term course of the economy.


The Falling Loonie

The biggest economic story of the new year has been the fall of the Canadian dollar. The Conference Board's assessment is that the drop in the dollar, if sustained, would have a small positive impact on economic growth in the short term. Some exporters may stand to benefit, but a declining loonie will also hit all Canadians in the pocketbook. More important than the value of the loonie is the signal it sends about the Canadian economy.

Taxis: That other supply management system

Shopping for milk and hailing a cab are two everyday activities that do not seem to have much in common. Yet, they are more alike than they appear at first glance. Dairy products are managed by a complicated system under which the amount to be produced is predetermined. Taxis are organized much the same way. Taxicab service remains tightly controlled even during times of high demand, such as the holiday season.

Why a Canadian Food Strategy?

Food impacts our lives, our health, our jobs, and our economy. Since 2010, the Conference Board's Centre for Food in Canada has been bringing together stakeholders from different sectors to create a Canadian Food Strategy—one that will meet the country's need for a coordinated, long-term strategy on industry prosperity, healthy and safe food, household food security, and environmental sustainability. The strategy will be launched at the 3rd Canadian Food Summit 2014: From Strategy to Action on March 18–19 in Toronto.

Measuring and Managing Innovation

It is perhaps the worst-kept economic secret in the country. Canada does not take advantage of its innovation capabilities, and that is impeding its growth potential. Canadian firms can use metrics to improve their innovation activities and competitiveness. However, almost 40 per cent of Canadian companies don't measure the success of their innovation activities at all. Of those firms that do, most use the kinds of measures that don't actually link well to their organizations' bottom-line results.

Conference Board of Canada One of the National Capital Region's Top Employers

The Conference Board of Canada is proud to announce that it has again been recognized as one of the National Capital Region's Top Employers for 2014. This marks the fifth time in seven years that the Conference Board has been named to the list of top employers in the Ottawa region. A key to our success is our ability to attract and retain outstanding talent, and this recognition only strengthens our position as an employer of choice.

CBoC Highlights

Photo of the Hon. Jason T. Kenney Photo of Vijay Gill

Satyamoorthy Kabilan, Director, National Security and Strategic Foresight, delivered a presentation on security and intelligence at the Canadian International Council dinner that aired on CPAC on January 18.

Pedro Antunes, Director, National and Provincial Forecast, discussed Canada's December job losses and the economy on CBC's Power & Politics on January 10.

In This Issue

  • New Conference Board Economic Indicator
  • The Falling Loonie
  • Taxis: That other supply management system
  • Why a Canadian Food Strategy?
  • Measuring and Managing Innovation
  • Conference Board of Canada One of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers

Previous Issues


Best Practices: Return to Work, Disability Management and COVID-19
Apr 09 at 2:00 PM

The Future of Work: Employment and skills in 2030
Apr 15 at 2:00 PM

Pathways into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for Indigenous Learners
Apr 16 at 2:00 PM

Latest Blogs

Emerging Technologies and Strategies

Nov 05, 2018
Darren Gresch
Research Associate,
Innovation Policy

It is easy to get swept away in all the hype surrounding emerging technologies. Every day brings new developments demonstrating various technological improvements and proof of concepts. These are inevitably discussed and extrapolated upon by proponents of the technologies (and the media), leading to a blurred understanding of what is possible today and what may be possible sometime in the future. This vague understanding of a technology’s development trajectory can result in a misalignment of expectations and a lack of adoption and implementation. However, this complex reality should not dissuade individuals from thinking about what might one day be possible.

Public profile—even hype—is crucial for getting more people to think about emerging technologies and the solutions they might unlock. Organizations may see an unexpected application of a technology to their business. While that specific application might not yet exist, with some resources directed toward the problem, it could be a potentially straightforward process of re-purposing the technology to suit the business need.

Many organizations have an idea of how technologies may impact their business, but capitalizing on those opportunities requires a better understanding of what is hype and what is reality. On April 25, 2018, our Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy team brought together our Technology and Innovation Councils/Centres for our STIP 2018: Emerging Technologies and Strategies event, where we uncovered several actionable insights that individuals and organizations can use to improve this understanding.

Far-Reaching Impact

The impacts of emerging technologies will reach into nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Further, applications in one industry may have substantial impacts in several others. Individuals can prepare for change by asking themselves how these technologies might enhance or threaten their current way of life. Organizations can prepare by asking how they can train their employees to ensure they are ready to take full advantage of productivity and efficiency gains enabled by these technologies.

The Future Is Already Here

From closed-loop, self-driving vehicles to virtual assistants that can call and schedule appointments, organizations are already implementing new business solutions with a variety of emerging technologies. Firms and governments should review their business models and policies to acknowledge and accommodate the changes these technologies are bringing.

Canada Risks Missing Out

For decades, Canada has performed poorly on several innovation indicators compared with its peer countries. The table below is from The Conference Board of Canada’s latest Innovation Report Card and shows Canada’s and its provinces’ performances compared with several peer countries.

The government is in the process of streamlining its suite of innovation programs to address this poor performance. However, businesses still need to improve their managing and marketing skills and capacity, invest more in in research and development (R&D) and innovation-related activities, and increase investments in various information and communications technologies (ICT) to remain competitive and take full advantage of the benefits emerging technologies can offer. As shown in the charts below, Canada is the worst performer among peer countries in business R&D and a poor performer in ICT investment.

If Canada and its firms fail to improve their relative standing compared to international peers, their competitive advantage will continue to erode. The adoption and adaptation of emerging technologies will play a crucial role in this process. Both organizations and individuals can play a part by improving their understanding of how these technologies might be applied both today and in the not-so-distant future.

Continuing the Conversation

While the STIP 2018: Emerging Technologies and Strategies event primarily explored the technological side of these changes, our upcoming Public Sector Transformation 2018: Delivering Digital conference looks at the human component. Specifically, the conference will focus on the culture, strategy, change management, and leadership necessary to successfully navigate increasingly complex technological environments.