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Strained Labour Relations: Industrial Relations Outlook 2014

It’s a tense time for labour relations in Canada, and more than half a million public sector workers will be involved in collective bargaining this year. These factors could lead to contentious negotiations between governments and their employees. The “tone” of negotiations may be more negative—and unions less willing to compromise.


Canada Post: The Option of Privatization

The dramatic changes to mail service and stamp prices announced in December were intended to put Canada Post back on track—toward a sustainable and profitable business. When The Conference Board of Canada first published a report on the future of postal service in Canada in April 2013, the outlook was grim. The report projected that if nothing changed, Canada Post would face operating deficits of about a $1 billion a year by 2020.

A Stronger 2014: Provincial Outlook

A two-tiered economy in Canada in recent years has seen resource-rich Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador outperform the rest of the country. Things are looking better for other provinces in 2014 with the prospect of a stronger U.S. economy helping to boost exports.

Barriers at Work for Young Women

Canadian organizations are—unintentionally—underestimating young women as being too young, or not ready, to assume increasingly challenging leadership roles. Women are therefore lowering their career expectations, at a cost to both their own advancement and to the success of their organizations. Organizations need to implement objective and transparent talent management practices that guard against this “unconscious bias.”

Strengthening Canada’s Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture

Canada's commercial fisheries, aquaculture, and processing industries could build on what is already a $7-billion a year business. The key is targeting the rising global demand for fish and seafood. To capitalize on growing markets abroad, the industry first needs to overcome its own fragmentation and uncertainty.

The Future of Retail, Wholesale, and Transportation: Canadian Industrial Profiles

Retail sales are expected to grow in 2014, and that will improve the overall outlook for the wholesale sector. Competition from new American retailers in the Canadian market, however, will suppress retailers’ and wholesalers’ overall pricing power and profits. In the end, consumers will benefit. On the transportation, warehousing, and logistic side, the trade of bulky mining, forestry, and agriculture products will result in higher demand for rail, ship, and terminal services in 2014.

CBoC Highlights

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

David Stewart-Patterson, Vice-President of Public Policy, discussed Canada Post’s announcement to end door-to-door urban delivery on CBC’s Ontario Today.

Ruth Wright, Director, Leadership and Human Resources Research, described generational differences in the workplace.

In This Issue

  • Strained Labour Relations: Industrial Relations Outlook 2014
  • Canada Post: The Option of Privatization
  • A Stronger 2014: Provincial Outlook
  • Barriers at Work for Young Women
  • Strengthening Canada’s Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • The Future of Retail, Wholesale, and Transportation: Canadian Industrial Profiles

Previous Issues


Canada’s Food Industry 2018-19: A Plate That’s Full
May 29 at 2:00 PM

Latest Blogs

The 9/11 Generation Is Coming of Age

Sep 11, 2018
Rachael Bryson
Senior Research Associate
National Security and Strategic Foresight

Today marks the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Every year, this day should be one of sober reflection to remember the victims, to ensure that shared memories are passed on to the youngest generation, and to reflect on what we have learned and accomplished in the wake of the tragedy. The children born on 9/11 will turn 17 this year, which means they have no living memory of the day’s events in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. But as they come of age, they do have the potential to be a major force for social change.

The global conflicts and violence that arose following 9/11 have been ever-present in their lives and have shaped their social consciousness. In just one year, they will be eligible to serve their countries, to vote, and to make decisions around education and work. Their choices will shape their societies and, in particular, the response of those societies to three trends that emerged in the wake of 9/11: populism, mass migration, and mass casualty events.

Populist movements, in the truest sense of the word—fringe political movements that rapidly gather momentum and bring change to governments—are not necessarily negative. They do, however, bring about marked change and can be destabilizing. Recently, the term “populism” has been linked with far-right, nationalist, and anti-immigration political movements in many Western nations, such as Sweden and Poland. These movements have upended the status quo and introduced uncertainty into the domestic politics of those countries, as well as affecting regional politics and their willingness to engage with international partners.

Syrian refugees fleeing war, Rohingya Muslims fleeing systemic violence, and citizens fleeing starvation and political corruption in Venezuela are examples of mass population migrations that demand massive public-policy responses. These mass migrations put pressure on the states receiving refugees, require significant resources, and may spur humanitarian or military intervention. It is expected that mass migration movements will only increase in scale and frequency, as climate change drives people from low-lying lands reclaimed by rising sea levels and displaces people from regions that will experience extended droughts and intolerable heat.   

Events such as vehicle attacks and mass casualty gun-violence incidents will drive public discourse around safety and the rights of individuals. Vehicle attacks will spur debates about the definition of terrorism and how to balance public safety with accessible cities. Mass-casualty shootings such as those in Orlando, Las Vegas, and countless schools will continue to fuel the debate on gun rights in the United States.

The youth vote could significantly impact the outcomes of upcoming elections, in favour of either traditional liberal values or populist movements. Humanitarian and foreign-policy decisions, including when to authorize military intervention, will be scrutinized, and governments will be held accountable. Political stances on gun control and domestic-security concerns will take centre stage in upcoming elections, particularly in North America, as the first generation of students who practiced lockdown drills for school shootings head to the polls. The 9/11 generation is socially aware, engaged, and connected. Their votes will be valuable, and the power of their ability to organize should not be underestimated.

Related Webinar

ARTful Meta-Leadership: The Future of Emergency Management Leadership
The Conference Board of Canada, October 3, 2018 at 02:00 PM EDT
Live Webinar