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A Closer Look at Canada’s Foreign Workers

While the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) tends to grab media attention, workers entering Canada under the TFWP make up only a slice of Canada’s diverse foreign worker population. Foreign workers also include International Mobility Program workers, international students, those awaiting permanent residence in Canada, and refugee claimants. The TFWP accounted for only one-quarter of individuals who were granted a temporary work permit in 2014. And while Canada’s TFWP population has declined in recent years, Canada’s overall foreign worker population is rising.


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Running on Empty: Fatigue in the Workplace

Lack of sleep and poor-quality sleep have consequences, not only for workplace safety, but also for the general wellness, performance, and productivity of employees across industries and professions. Our study found that almost 30 per cent of Canadians go to work tired most days or every day during a typical workweek. The main culprits behind this fatigue include work stress and job demands, stress from home demands, physical health problems, and poor sleeping habits.

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Reliable and Affordable Electricity Needed for Canada’s Remote Communities

For the more than 200,000 people living in Canada’s nearly 300 remote communities, accessing reasonably priced electricity remains a challenge. Lacking access to the North American electricity grid, remote communities cannot benefit from the economies of scale that grid-connected communities receive, and that means much higher electricity costs. Their reliance on locally generated electricity means electricity prices can be as much as nine times higher than the Canadian average.

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Employee Learning in Canadian Organizations: Room For Improvement

Organizations that are committed to learning and development report better organizational performance than their competitors. However, our new study finds that only 34 per cent of Canadian organizations say that they have a strong learning environment. While this figure is low, employers can strengthen their learning environment by regularly evaluating the effectiveness of their learning practices and programs to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement.

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Raising Awareness about Cybersecurity

Cyber security is one of the major challenges facing organizations today, with high-profile incidents making global headlines regularly. October is Cyber Security Awareness month, and we are providing free access to two of our research products on the topic of cyber security.

Cyber Security: Dealing With an Evolving Threat Landscape
This 60-minute recorded webinar (value of $149) explores some of the key insights generated from these activities, including the role of insider threats in cyber security and how to mitigate them.

It’s All About You: Building Capacity in Cyber Security
This 60-page report (value of $235) identifies how to build the kind of knowledge and understanding required to effectively contribute to our personal digital security, as well as that of organizations and nation states.

Download your free copies today. These two documents will only be available as free downloads in the month of October.

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New Job Index for Quebec: A More Balanced Perspective

The Institut du Québec (a partnership between HEC Montréal and The Conference Board of Canada) unveiled its new Job Index for Quebec in September. This tool offers a more balanced perspective and highlights current strengths and weaknesses in Quebec’s labour market. The IdQ Job Index report is updated monthly, within two hours of the official publication of Statistics Canada employment data. It is available on the Institut du Québec website.

CBoC Highlights

Photo of Matthew Stewart speaking Photo of Thy Dinh speaking
Healthy Brains at Work: Estimating the Impact of Workplace Mental Health Benefits and Programs Compensation Planning Outlook 2017—Preview
Photo of Pedro Antunes speaking Photo of Thy Dinh speaking
Craig Alexander comments on the Consumer Price Index for August 2016 and the retail sales for July 2016 Centre for the North members exchanged ideas and views with the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, in Kuujjuaq.

In This Issue

  • A Closer Look at Canada’s Foreign Workers
  • Running on Empty: Fatigue in the Workplace
  • Reliable and Affordable Electricity Needed for Canada’s Remote Communities
  • Employee Learning in Canadian Organizations: Room For Improvement
  • Raising Awareness about Cybersecurity
  • New Job Index for Quebec: A More Balanced Perspective

Previous Issues

Recent Op-Eds

How to Boost Canada’s Economy: A Few Ideas for Ottawa, The Globe and Mail, Septemberr 21, 2016

The End of Globalization? Not So Fast, The Globe and Mail, September 13, 2016

Three Issues We Shouldn’t Forget in Confronting Terrorism, The Ottawa Citizen, Septemberr 8, 2016

Latest Blogs

Cyber and Hybrid Threats to Canada and Its Allies

  • Brent Dowdall
| May 06, 2019
<table class="blogAuthor"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="baImg"><img src="" alt="Brent Dowdall"></td> <td> </td> <td class="baText"><strong><a rel="author">Brent Dowdall</a><br> </strong>Senior Manager, Research and Business Development</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Cyber security threats are now considered a global security concern on par with traditional conventional military threats. Our interconnected world means that cyber threats and hybrid warfare incorporate a complex mix of hostile actors and a wide range of tactics. The rapid evolution of technology, combined with the ability of attackers to quickly adopt new offensive tools and techniques, further exacerbates the threat. Open liberal democracies have an interest in overcoming the risks of cyber attacks—to protect the critical infrastructure we rely on, personal privacy and business continuity, and even democratic institutions themselves.</p> <p>The Government of Canada is developing cyber capabilities to protect the country from virtual threats and to work within defence alliances. Among its key partners should be European countries, working both within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and with the European Union (EU) itself.</p> <p>With Europe on the front lines of hostile state and non-state actors, the EU has taken a more assertive role in organizing its own cyber security defences and those of its member states. The EU’s <a href="">Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)</a> initiative has put cyber security at the top of the priority list for greater collaboration and cooperation among member states.</p> <p>The <a href="">Cyber Rapid Response Teams (CRRT) and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security</a> project is among the most advanced of the projects under the PESCO initiative. CRRT will allow member states to help each other to ensure higher level of cyber resilience and to collectively respond to cyber incidents. Lithuania leads the EU cooperation project in cyber defence, with eight more EU member states—Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Poland, Netherlands, France, Romania, and Finland—participating in the project (Belgium, Greece, Slovenia, and Germany are observers of the project).</p> <p>The aim of this project is to integrate the expertise among member states in the field of cyber defence. The rapid response teams are able to assist with training, diagnostics, and attribution forensics, and to provide assistance in operations.</p> <p>At the <a href="">5th&nbsp;European Union Security and Defence Symposium</a>, held in Ottawa on March&nbsp;20, 2019, the panel session PESCO in Action: Confronting Hybrid/Cyber Threats will outline the progress being made on the CRRT and how Canada and the EU can work together to strengthen our shared responsibilities in the field of cyber threats. The Conference Board of Canada is a partner in developing the program for the event. Participants include senior EU officials, Canadian governments officials, and experts from both sides of the Atlantic.</p> <p>Canada is far from exempt from the potential consequences of cyber threats. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security’s most recent threat assessment says that 2019 could be a particularly harrowing year for Canadian individuals, businesses, and institutions.<span class="sup"><a href="#ftn1-ref" name="ftn1" id="ftn1">1</a></span></p> <p>Given the high and rising threat of cyber attacks, it is also important to promote the concept of cyber resilience. Unlike cyber security, which is usually very focused on prevention and protection, cyber resilience recognizes that successful cyber attacks may be inevitable. Therefore, cyber resilience promotes the need to ensure organizations can maintain critical functions and quickly return to normal in the wake of an attack. Improving organizational cyber resilience will be the focus of the Conference Board’s <a href="">Cyber Security 2019: Building and Testing Cyber Resilience</a> conference.</p> <p>As governments and businesses alike face new threats, decision-makers and organizational leaders need to stay up to date on the latest cyber-security trends. Ongoing research and dialogue—by sharing the successes, weaknesses, and learnings—is perhaps the most effective defensive weapon we can collectively wield against these threats.</p> <hr> <h3>Related Conference</h3> <p><a href="">Cyber Security 2019: Building and Testing Cyber Resilience</a><br> May 27, 2019, Toronto</p> <br><br> <p class="footnote" style="padding-top: 1.25em;"><a id="ftn1-ref" name="ftn1-ref" href="#ftn1">1</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Cindy Baker, <a href="">“Canada Is a Prime Target for Cybersecurity Attacks in 2019.”</a> <em>IT World Canada</em>, January&nbsp;16, 2019.</p>

Four Employee Trends Disrupting Traditional Benefits Plans

  • The Conference Board of Canada
| May 01, 2019
<p>As workplaces become more generationally diverse, the needs of employees have become more complex. More than ever, HR professionals are looking for ways to respond to these varied needs.</p> <p>Employers have their work cut out for them when it comes to remaining cost-effective while providing today’s workforce with the most valuable health benefits.</p> <p>Based on the <a href="" title="" class="" target="">2019 Benefits Benchmarking</a> report, here are the <strong>top four employee trends disrupting traditional benefits plans:</strong></p> <h2>Cannabis in the Workplace</h2> <p>Medical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001, and the number of authorized users has grown dramatically. By mid-2018, 342,000 Canadians were registered to use legally.</p> <p>Due to the recent legalization of recreational cannabis, medical cannabis is expected to be more common. Employees are increasingly turning to their employers with questions about coverage. Yet, only a handful of the Canadian organizations we surveyed offer coverage for medical cannabis.</p> <p>Employers should consider creating strategies that are mindful of this new frontier.</p> <h2>Aging Workforce </h2> <p>The needs of Canadian employees have become increasingly complex as Canada’s largest generation continues to work past the typical retirement age. This has put pressure on the health care system. Employers find themselves challenged to address the needs of this generation head-on.</p> <p>Organizations are aware of this trend, and they are looking for technology to better manage health care needs.</p> <h2>Increase Use of Biologic Drugs </h2> <p>There has been an increase in the use of biologic drugs and a greater focus on paramedical services. This has made it difficult for organizations to decide where to invest resources.</p> <p>Given this growing trend, having a drug cost management strategy is becoming increasingly important for the long-term sustainability of benefits plans.</p> <h2>Virtual Health Care and Wellness </h2> <p>Organizations are seeking more cost-effective, creative, and proactive ways to maintain and improve employee health. Canadian organizations are increasingly turning to new technologies that focus on prevention, such as virtual wellness technologies to manage health and fitness and pharmacogenetic testing.</p> <p>Different industries align their benefits strategies with virtual wellness technologies in varying ways. Their focuses may include physical wellness, improving financial wellness, reducing stress, absenteeism, or productivity.</p> <p><strong>Get ahead of these disruptors by leveraging data from 217 Canadian organizations in the 2019 Benefits Benchmarking report.</strong> <a href="" title="" class="" target="">Read on</a>.</p>

Five Trends That Will Change the Way Your Company Structures Benefits

  • The Conference Board of Canada
| Mar 20, 2019
<p>Employee expectations are changing, and nowhere is this more evident than in benefit offerings. </p> <p> Canadian employers are being challenged to appeal to a multi-generational workforce. Varied employee needs have given rise to an evolved style of benefit offerings: one that is flexible, but keeps an eye on cost. </p> <p> How can you stay ahead of the curve? We surveyed 217 organizations for our new <a href="">Benefits Benchmarking&nbsp;2019</a> report, collecting data that reflect the experiences of 1.2&nbsp;million employees. </p> <p><strong>Here are five trends in employee benefits that will give your organization an edge:</strong></p> <h2>More Flexible Benefits</h2> <p>Flexibility is the name of the game in 2019. Increasingly, employers are managing costs by letting employees decide what supports are best for them and their families. In our survey, we found that a record-breaking <strong>two-thirds of Canadian employers are now offering more innovative health care spending accounts (HCSAs) to employees at all levels</strong>.</p> <h2>Wellness Apps Supporting Employee Well-Being</h2> <p>Wellness apps are proving to be a win-win. Employees who use these apps are reaping the rewards of being proactive about their physical and mental health. Meanwhile, employers benefit from happier, healthier employees.</p> <h2>Medical Marijuana Offered as an Employee Benefit</h2> <p>The green wave has arrived in Canada. It’s no surprise that medical cannabis is starting to find its way into employee benefit offerings. While only 6&nbsp;per cent of organizations currently cover medical cannabis, <strong>close to half (48&nbsp;per cent) of respondents report they are considering doing so in the future</strong>.</p> <h2>Outsourcing Benefits Administration</h2> <p>With the emergence of new HR technologies, outsourcing your benefits administration can significantly impact your bottom line while meeting employees’ wellness needs.</p> <h2>Offering Mental Health Support to Employees</h2> <p>Conversations around mental health in the workplace have hit critical mass, bolstered by the gigantic #BellLetsTalk movement. Approximately two-thirds of all responding organizations report enhancing or introducing strategies to support employees’ mental health and wellness. </p> <p><strong>How does your organization stack up? Optimize your employee benefits with data from 217&nbsp;organizations. </strong><a href=""><strong>Get the Benefits Benchmarking 2019 report.</strong></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="/images/default-source/cboc-images-public/22685_benefits_552x147_final.jpg?sfvrsn=b9274e13_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="Benefits_552x147" title="Benefits_552x147"></a></p>


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