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Canada’s Social Performance

Canada is a “B” performer and places 10th overall on our society report card, but poor rankings relative to peer countries on income inequality and poverty highlight the scope for improvement. Ten indicators were used to evaluate the overall social performance of Canada and 15 peer countries. Canada is a middle-of-the-pack performer on most of the indicators—it gets two “A”s, five “B”s, and three “C”s.

For the first time, this year’s report card includes the provinces in the rankings. Half of the provinces score “B” grades and fall in the middle. New Brunswick is the top-ranked province, placing 10th among 26 jurisdictions, while Newfoundland and Labrador ranks last among the provinces with a “C” grade, placing ahead of France, Japan, and the United States.


Pair of bosing gloves with the American flag on them  

Succeeding in the Age of Trump

The election of Donald Trump changed the international policy environment, posing a challenge for Canadian policy-makers and business leaders. While the Trump economic agenda keeps changing and is still being fully defined, it is bound to be challenging; Canada needs an activist policy response. Canada could position itself as an open, integrating hub for global trade and investment, embrace the opportunity to modernize the North America Free Trade Agreement, and pursue new bilateral and regional free trade deals with several priority countries.

Stacks on coins increasing in height and a pill bottle  

The Costs of Treating Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an acute respiratory disease caused by either bacterial or viral infection and is most prevalent among children and the elderly. Hospitalized pneumonia costs the Canadian health care system hundreds of millions of dollars per year. As the Canadian population continues to grow and age, there are concerns about the increase in disease burden over time. Our new report estimates that the number of hospitalized cases of pneumonia will rise dramatically by 2025, doubling to a total of 49,424 from 24,761 in 2010 due to Canada’s aging population. Meanwhile, the annual total direct health care cost of treating the disease is expected to reach over $530 million by 2025.

Isreal and Canada flags  

Understanding Israel’s Innovation Success

Israel is a world innovation leader, boasting world-class innovation skills, capabilities, and performance. Israel’s experiences provide some good lessons and insights for Canada, such as the need to find our own innovation motivation, identify niche areas in global value chains, design programs and policy with firms at the centre, learn from Israel’s mistakes and missteps, and think globally. Adapting Israel’s principles, strategies, institutions, and programs to Canada’s own social, economic, and political context could help support Canada’s innovation performance.

Female pharmasist speaking to senior woman  

Expanding Pharmacy Services Could Save Billions

Pharmacists are an integral part of the health care delivered to many Canadians, and they could play an even greater role in ensuring the sustainability of the health care system if we can further capitalize on their expertise as medication experts and expand the services they provide. Changes to pharmacy legislation and standards have occurred in the provinces and territories over recent years, creating the opportunity for community pharmacists to take on an expanded role in service delivery. Canada-wide implementation of just three pharmacy services could yield cost savings between $2.5 billion and $25.7 billion over the next 20 years.

Graduate standing in front of a globe  

Quebec’s Great Potential for More International Students

International students make a real social, cultural, and economic contribution to Canada. While there are many reasons why an international student would want to study in Quebec, the province has experienced the lowest international student growth rate since 1999–2000 among all the provinces. By working more closely together, the provincial government, PSE institutes, employers, and other key stakeholders, such as economic development agencies, can better capitalize on Quebec’s strengths to reap greater benefits from international students.

Plastic heart and a syringe  

New Medication Could Reduce Burden of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Canadians and is one of the main reasons for hospitalizations and disability in Canada. Cardiovascular disease prevalence and mortality represent significant costs to public governments and society due to hospitalizations, disease management, and lost productivity in Canada. A new medication for some high-risk populations could help avert hundreds of thousands of deaths due to heart disease and save up to $34.8 billion for the Canadian health care system and economy over the next 20 years.

CBoC Highlights

Dr. Hoesung Lee speaking  
Dr. Hoesung Lee, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, discusses the consequences of the UN Paris Agreement and Marrakech Action Proclamation at Reshaping Energy 2017. Canada’s Transport Minister, the Hon. Marc Garneau, discusses Canada’s leadership role in the innovative transportation sector at our Automated Vehicles conference in Toronto.

In This Issue

  • Canada’s Social Performance
  • Succeeding in the Age of Trump
  • The Costs of Treating Pneumonia
  • Understanding Israel’s Innovation Success
  • Expanding Pharmacy Services Could Save Billions
  • Quebec’s Great Potential for More International Students
  • New Medication Could Reduce Burden of Heart Disease

Previous Issues

Recent Op-Eds

How to Craft a Successful Trade Policy in the Age of Trump, The Globe and Mail, April 19, 2017

A Low-Carbon Canadian Economy: How to Get There, The Globe and Mail, April 4, 2017

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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