Agenda for Canada’s prosperity

Released March 2007

Canadians need to step up to the challenge of closing our prosperity gap with the United States by 2020. With the likelihood of a federal and several provincial elections over the next 18 months, Canadians will have the opportunity to discuss and debate the importance of the prosperity gap and ways to narrow it. The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity in its Report on Canada 2007, Agenda for Canada’s prosperity, proposes a prosperity agenda as a way of invigorating the debate.

Canada’s economy is one of the world’s most successful; and most signs – low unemployment rates, solidly performing stock market, and a strong Canadian dollar – reinforce this. But it is not meeting its full potential. More worrisome, two decades ago, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Canada was only $3,300 (constant 2005 dollars) below – or 10 percent behind that in the United States. Over the past two decades, we have drifted further behind US performance – and Canada now trails the United States by $9,200 or 18 percent. GDP measures the value created by workers and firms in Canada from the human, physical, and natural resources in the country.

The Institute’s Agenda for Canada’s prosperity highlights the significant changes required in attitudes, investment patterns, motivations to do business, and market and governance structures across the country. These include:

  • Attitudes: From collective complacency to shared determination to close the gap
  • Investment: From consumption today to investment for tomorrow
  • Motivations: From unwise taxation to smart taxation
  • Structures: From general support to specialized support and competitive pressure
Topics: Economic policy, growth, and strategy, Government investment and innovation, Business growth and innovation, Clusters, Social policy