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Canada Falls in Innovation Rankings

Echoing years of lacklustre innovation performance, Canada has slipped slightly in our latest How Canada Performs: Innovation report card. Although it maintains a C grade, Canada has fallen from 9th to 12th among 16 peer countries. Despite improvements in venture capital investment and entrepreneurial ambition, Canada’s persistent weakness in business R&D, ICT investment, patents, and labour productivity make it hard to keep pace with global peers. Regionally, Ontario and Quebec are the top-rated provinces, while Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick are the lowest-ranked provinces. British Columbia experienced a dramatic decline, sliding from B to D.


Canadian maple leaf  

Slower Growth for Provincial Economies in 2018

All provinces can expect slower economic growth this year as a number of factors—ranging from uncertainty over NAFTA, stalled oil pipeline projects, cooling housing markets, and weak business investment—weigh on provincial economies. The only provinces expected to see economic growth above 2 per cent this year are British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, and Quebec.

Drawing of a scale balancing work and life  

Rethinking 9 to 5

Employees value flexibility when it comes to when and where they work. Among Canadian organizations, flexible work arrangements, including flexible working hours, remote work options, and compressed workweeks, are more commonplace than ever. Our survey of Canadian employers found that almost nine out of 10 (86 per cent) organizations offer at least one option. Demand for flexible work arrangements is likely to increase as the Canadian population ages and many Canadians face both childcare and eldercare responsibilities. For employers, offering flexible work arrangements helps improve employee engagement and retention.

Family walking thorugh a door in a tall stack of coins  

Imagining Canada’s Economy Without Immigration

While it is unlikely that Canada would stop immigration completely, imagining it provides us with a better understanding of the contributions of newcomers to Canada’s economy. Our research shows that if Canada were to shut its doors to immigrants completely, its labour force would shrink significantly and economic growth would slow from a trend rate of 1.9 per cent to an average of 1.3 per cent annually. Paying for social services such as health care would become more difficult for Canada and governments would likely need to increase taxes to compensate for the declining number of workers. Additionally, companies would likely forego operations in Canada, resulting in lower levels of business investment.

Mother with arms surrounding son holding shoes in her hands  

Multiple Sclerosis in the Workplace

With nearly 100,000 citizens living with multiple sclerosis (MS), Canada has one of the highest rates in the world. Often those living with MS must either decrease the number of hours they work or leave the workforce altogether, which lowers their income. They also face higher living costs, such as home modifications and accessible transportation. Expanding the employment insurance (EI) sickness benefit program and making the disability tax credit refundable would allow approximately 11,400 people to remain in or re-enter the workforce and boost economic activity by an estimated $1.1 billion annually.

Drawing of roadways with freight trucks  

Reducing GHG Emissions From Freight Transport

Increased economic activity has spurred the demand for freight transportation over the past decades, leading to more trucks on Canadian roads and a subsequent sharp increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The transportation of goods currently makes up 10.5 per cent of Canada’s total emissions, with trucking accounting for 83 per cent of that total. Reducing truck travel, using fuel-saving devices and disruptive technologies, and carbon pricing are among the numerous ways Canada can reduce freight truck emissions.

Hand cupped over a model house  

Justice Services in Remote First Nations Communities

Many Canadians living in urban centres wouldn’t think twice about being able to get to courts, hospitals, lawyers, and police stations. However, for victims of domestic violence in rural or remote First Nations communities, attempting to engage the justice system can require substantial funds and travel commitments. For example, the distance to the nearest permanent provincial court can range from an average of 99 to 300 kilometres, depending on whether the individual lives on-reserve and if the reserve has access to a main road network. Acknowledging these distances is critical to understanding the barriers faced by Indigenous victims of domestic violence when seeking to find justice and begin healing.

CBoC Highlights

Various pills and tablets
Adam Fiser speaking
Our Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care is launching the National Pharmacare Initiative to inform and support potential approaches to ensuring universal access to pharmacare for Canadians. Dr. Adam Fiser discusses the significant and rapid changes to the Arctic before the Special Senate Committee on the Arctic.
Susan Black speaking Paul Preston being interviewed
Dr. Susan Black provided remarks at the first Mental Health in the Capital conference on May 9, 2018.
Paul Preston joined CBC’s On the Money to discuss Canada’s C grade on our latest innovation report card.

In This Issue

  • Canada Falls in Innovation Rankings
  • Slower Growth for Provincial Economies in 2018
  • Rethinking 9 to 5
  • Imagining Canada’s Economy Without Immigration
  • Multiple Sclerosis in the Workplace
  • Reducing GHG Emissions From Freight Transport
  • Justice Services in Remote First Nations Communities

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