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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


Emerging Threats in Cybersecurity
Aug 26 at 2:00 PM

Leadership – Well-Being – Safety: Working together to enhance psychological safety
Sep 05 at 2:00 PM

Crowdsourcing CSR: A New Way to Engage Your Stakeholders
Sep 12 at 2:00 PM

Latest Blogs

PESCO Offers Europe’s Strongest Commitment to Enhance Defence Cooperation

Feb 28, 2019
Rachael Bryson Rachael Bryson
Senior Research Associate,
National Security and Public Safety
Brent DowDall
Senior Manager, Research and Business Development
Forecasting and Analysis

Canada and the European Union share a commitment to international peace and security. Participation by Canada and many European states in collective defence institutions (such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), celebrating its 70th anniversary later this year) has long been one means by which this goal has been advanced. At the same time, both Canada and the EU have a responsibility to maintain and enhance their own levels of preparation and readiness.

Concerns about the state of readiness of the transatlantic Alliance extend back to the end of the Cold War. These concerns predate the positions expressed by the Trump Adminstration, the impeding exit of the United Kingdom from the EU, and concerns about destabilizing Russian activities. Within Europe, however, cooperative defence has long been discussed as an approach to maximize regional security and defence capabilities.

The European Union has taken its most comprehensive step to date to shore up its shared defence responsibilities through the establishment of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). PESCO is a specific Common Security and Defence Policy flexibility mechanism that flows out of the Treaty of Lisbon. PESCO took effect in 2017, with the participation of 25 of 28 EU member states.

PESCO is organized to allow member states to make binding commitments to increase defence cooperation across a broad range of security areas. The framework for cooperation allows willing and able member states to jointly develop defence capabilities, invest in shared projects, and enhance the operational readiness and contribution of their armed forces.

It is important to emphasize that PESCO is not a European armed force. PESCO is intended to enhance cooperation among like-minded countries. Member states still have full authority to make decisions about their own defence levels, policies, and approaches. Member states contribute voluntarily to the initiatives of greatest concern to them.

The advantage of PESCO is that it builds on existing relationships, creating a ready-made mechanism for increased cooperation on individual projects. To date, 34 projects have been approved across certain areas. These include training; capability development; operational readiness on land, at sea, and in the air; and cyber-defence.

However, as the leaders of the entities who jointly make up the PESCO Secretariat emphasized in 2018, and as argued by PESCO leaders in 2018, it will take more than the launch of projects for PESCO to fulfill its mandate.1 They argued that PESCO must achieve four objectives:

1. Respect of commitments: PESCO differs from previous defence cooperation initiatives because the 25 participating member states have made binding commitments.

2. Delivering on capability and operational gaps: Through PESCO, EU forces will more effectively and efficiently operate together to achieve tactical, operational, and strategic objectives.

3. Coherence with other EU initiatives: PESCO needs to be intertwined and coherent with other recent EU initiatives launched to boost defence cooperation—especially the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence and the European Defence Fund.

4. Complementarity with NATO: Enhancing the defence capabilities of EU member states will strengthen the European pillar within NATO.

It is this final objective that can be expected to be of greatest interest to Canada. Accordingly, PESCO will be the issue of focus at the 5th Security and Defence Symposium on March 20, 2019. The Conference Board of Canada is supporting the Delegation of the European Union to Canada in developing this programme. Two of the leaders in implementing PESCO—Lt. General Esa Pulkinen, and Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency—will be speaking at the symposium. In addition, a panel of experts will discussthe multi-faceted defence and security relationship among Canada and the EU, and how PESCO will influence future NATO cooperation.

Those of you interested in the next stage of Europe’s defence and security policy should join us on March 20 at the Rideau Club in Ottawa.

1    PESCO: “More Than Just Projects,” European Defence Matters, Issue 15. Authored by Pedro Serrano, Deputy Secretary General for CSDP, and Crisis Response at the European External Action Service (EEAS); Lt. General Esa Pulkkinen, Director General of the EU’s Military Staff (EUMS); and Jorge Domecq, the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA) whose entities jointly form the PESCO Secretariat.