Opinion

Archives: Philipe Couillard on our health system

In 2011, Canada 2020 asked Dr. Philippe Couillard to provide some historical context on Canada’s “broken” health care system. Then, Dr. Couillard was out of politics, working as an adviser at the SECOR Group. Today, he is the newly elected Premier of Quebec, having just won an impressive majority mandate for the Quebec Liberal Party. His essay, Lessons from 2004, Perspectives for 2014, offers a glimpse into the new Premier’s policy thinking, not just on the issue of health, but on his overall approach to making choices in government.

Speech: Brian Mulroney on “The Next Big Thing” for Canada

On April 8th, 2014, Canada 2020 invited the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, Canada’s 18th Prime Minister, to answer the question: “What is the next big thing for Canada?” His speech focused on the importance of natural resource development, and stressed the importance of bold leadership that places national interest ahead of electoral success – something Mr. Mulroney knows quite a bit about. Click here to read his address, as well as stream video of the speech.

Analysis: Who is Matteo Renzi?

At just 39 years of age, Matteo Renzi became Italy’s youngest-ever prime minister in late February. The dramatic events that led to this meteoric rise are nothing new for Renzi. Over the course of his relatively short political career, the former lawyer and regional counselor earned the nickname “il Rottomatore”—meaning “the bulldozer” or “the demolition man”—thanks to his reputation for taking on the establishment and pushing through political reforms.

Research: How Canadians (vs. Americans) feel about climate change

Researchers from Canada and the United States have partnered with Canada 2020 to publish their key findings from the Canada-US Comparative Climate Survey, conducted in the fall of 2013. This report delves deeper into the data, analyzing key trends and preferences across a variety of indicators including region, partisan divide, and others. For interactive maps and other data, visit www.canada2020.ca/climatepoll

Research: Are we ready for universal childcare in Canada?

Is Canada ready for a universal childcare system? If so, what does ‘universal’ look like? Canada’s current childcare system is a fragmented and patchwork landscape that has been recognized internationally as a serious human development concern. Set against the backdrop of increased media and policy attention to social mobility, Canada 2020′s Analytical Commentary No. 6 focuses on the relationship between income inequality, equality of opportunity and universal childcare.

Research: Getting TPP Right

As China begins challenging the U.S. for political and economic dominance in the pacific region, establishing free trade agreements with the rest of the continent is imperative for Canada. This makes the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade deal that would span the Pacific Ocean but notably does not include China, an essential component of Canada’s long-term trade agenda.

Graphics: How Canadians really feel about climate change

Canada 2020 and the University of Montreal have released a new survey showing Canadians are more concerned, more informed, more willing to pay, and more demanding of federal action on climate change than Americans. The full survey, interactive maps, and other resources are posted at www.canada2020.ca/climatepoll. In this post, we have selected some of the more surprising results.

Opinion: The Canada-China relationship – how we keep up the momentum

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives’ Ailish Campbell reports from our joint event, “The Canada-China Relationship: Keeping up the momentum” on Tuesdsay, October 29th. At the event, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall joined a panel of experts to talk to way forward for our two economies. In this post, Campbell summarizes 5 thoughts on how to keep up the momentum.

Opinion: It’s not unemployment, it’s underemployment

As short as 20 years ago, our combined attainment of education, work experience, and connections would place many young Canadians on a secure career track that would allow us to pay back our loans, save for a house, and contribute to the overall productivity of this great country. Today, that’s more or less not the case, and an increasing number of young Canadians are caught in a veritable limbo state of underemployment.

Summer Reading: Reports on equality, mobility, education and more

With Parliament Hill adjourned for the summer, Ottawa is a much quieter place, giving us time to catch up on a number of fantastic reports that have been published by organizations in our network. We have scoured the web and come back with six must-read reports to add to your summer reading list. Featuring work from the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress, the International Institute for Sustainable Development and more.

Summer Reading: 10 infographics you should see

We love infographics at Canada 2020 – and there’s no better time to browse and read them then over the long summer office hours.
Here’s 10 online features from The Guardian, The Economic Policy Institute, The White House and more than you should catch up on. Topics include tracking and comparing national carbon outputs, measuring exactly how inequality is rising in North America and answering what makes Canadians sick.

Opinion: Industrial policy is back — except in Ontario

Countries with robust industrial policies — especially in Asia and other emerging markets — have seen superior growth performance post-recession.

Canada 2020′s Eugene Lang looks at the sad-state of affairs in Ontario’s, Canada’s former manufacturing heartland and the things governments can do to promote investment, industrial development and economic growth.

Opinion: Searching for Canada’s Michelle Obama

Canada needs to confront its crisis in public health, and quickly determine how we can come together to combat obesity and related chronic diseases. Canadians are up against the same public health challenges as our American neighbours.

The First Lady of the U.S. has provided a very visible rallying point in that country. Here in Canada we do not have such a figure, but, encouragingly, we do have a federal government that is becoming more active in this space.

Opinion: The modern university: relevant? Yes, but is this enough?

On May 9, 2013 Canada 2020 staff attended a speech by University of Ottawa President, Allan Rock on “The Skills Mismatch and the Myth of the Irrelevant University”.

Rock stressed the continued relevance of universities, especially in today’s knowledge economy. This is beyond dispute but, upon further reflection, I wonder if perhaps we should be asking another question: is simply being ‘relevant’ enough?

Blog: So you want to build a progressive movement in Canada…

In Canada think tanks have generally been thin on the ground, and typically associated with specific political parties.

We launched Canada 2020 in 2006 because we wanted a space for progressives of all stripes to meet, discuss, and share ideas in an environment that was free of the partisan mentality of old. We’re proud of the work we have done and the voices and ideas that we have featured.

Getting beyond the carbon impasse: response to the Financial Post

Earlier this month a response to our paper ‘Why would Canadians buy carbon pricing?’ was published in the Financial Post. The over-riding objective of our paper, and packed event which it supported, was to ‘identify a refreshed mode of discussion… [in order to]… develop a constructive and positive course of action’ to address climate change.

Opinion: An austerity agenda hidden in an ‘NDP budget’

How does a minority government mired in a big deficit and in the grips of weak economic growth craft a budget that satisfies the NDP opposition and keeps the financial markets content? Canada 2020′s Eugene Lang looks at the balancing act of Premier Wynne’s first budget.

Think Tank Round Up Vol. 6: May 2, 2013

In the past two weeks the world learned that austerity might not be all it’s cracked up to be. The Reinhart-Rogoff ‘affair’ has occupied a lot of airtime (if you haven’t caught up, here’s a good primer from The New Yorker), with good cause. Governments across the developed world must make hard choices as we continue on a shaky road to recovery: it is essential to ensure that these choices are based on the best available information.

Event Summary: Recasting the carbon debate in Ottawa

This past Wednesday, over 500 people packed the Chateau Laurier’s ballroom, and hundreds tuned in online to watch ‘How to sell carbon pricing to Canadians’ – our call to re-cast the carbon pricing conversation in Canada. It was, by all measures, our largest event to date.

Think Tank Round-Up, Volume 5: April 19, 2013

In this round-up: coverage of our carbon event, the EU ETS under fire, biofuel use in the UK, tracking clean energy progress through the IEA, measuring inequality, taking aim at gender wage gaps and inequality, and Canada’s place on the innovation and productivity spectrum around the world.

Opinion: How to talk about a carbon price – without panicking

A more active dialogue is developing around Canada’s future as a large-scale energy exporter – with much of the open, constructive debate happening beyond our borders and not at home where it is most needed. Blame for inaction lies at the feet of all federal parties: quite simply, now is the time to move on.

Opinion: Margaret Thatcher, Kathleen Wynne, Alison Redford and the politics of conviction

The tax-cutting ideology espoused by Thatcher and Ronald Reagan reverberated far and wide, transforming the political right in some countries, but also having an impact on more moderate, centrist governments.

Think Tank Round Up Volume 4: April 3, 2013

Easter has come and gone, and while you may have been resting, we at Canada 2020, have been working away to produce your latest bi-weekly think tank round up.

A pipeline rupture in Arkansas on March 29th led to 10,000 barrels of Canadian crude being spilled in a residential area, raising ever more questions about the merits of building new pipelines.

Event recap: Drilling down on the Asian cities agenda

Canada 2020’s third panel in the Canada We Want in 2020 Speaker Series took place in Ottawa on March 27 in front of an engaged crowd of 200 at the Château Laurier Hotel.

You can recap by watching the entire video on our event page, or read this summary.

Opinion: #Budget2013 – Market intervention, conservative style

The reviews of Budget 2013 are in. It is a big yawn. A nothing Budget, a one- day wonder in terms of press interest, most of the new measures in it having been leaked beforehand. This misses a core point. Budget 2013 is remarkable for one thing—the Conservative government has embraced a degree of market intervention we have not seen before.

Opinion: CIDA could only exist in an ideal world

Thursday’s federal budget marked the end of an era in Canada’s approach to foreign aid with the merging of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) into the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Eugene Lang and Eric Morse reflect on the merger in the Ottawa Citizen.

Think Tank Round Up Volume 3: March 22, 2013

It has been a busy week here in Ottawa with the presentation of the 2013 budget (Take a minute to look at our co-founder, Tim Barber’s, reaction to the budget.)

This Economic Action Plan placed a major focus on skilled trades and the need for professional training, topics which are close to our heart at Canada 2020.

Opinion: Climate change impacts on Canadian agriculture – no time for complacency

There is much to applaud in the agri-sector. We’re seeing greater diversification and a change in farming practices to become less environmentally damaging. But we need to ask ourselves if there is more we can do, both to maximize the potential of the sector and to help it prepare for a very uncertain future.

Blog: Why ‘Asia – it’s big!’ won’t cut it

Our conversations on Asia are stuck in a rut – and that’s a problem. If we’re going to help each other be engaged members of the policy community that shapes and forms opinions and decisions, we need to be smarter in how we talk about the opportunities and risks in engaging the new pacific century.

Think Tank Round-Up Volume 2: March 6, 2013

It has been a busy week for us at Canada 2020, with our Equality of Opportunity panel and our Skilled Trades in the Energy Sector conference. But just as we’ve been very active so too have other organizations in our network. Here’s another round-up of the policy thinking and writing from Canadian and international think tanks from the past two weeks.

Event Summary: Panelists get to grips with the Canadian dream

Over 350 people came out to the Château Laurier Hotel on February 26 where they were treated to a lively, progressive and sometimes contentious debate about the various options for governmental action to help ensure continued economic mobility in Canada.

Think Tank Round-Up Volume 1: Feb. 19, 2013

As Larry Summers noted when he spoke at our Ottawa event in November 2013, “much of what political leaders say is the result of a careful study, a well placed op-ed, a strategically targeted email from an important and influential think tank.”
It is easy to miss what is going on in this vibrant world, so we have decided to produce a bi-weekly round-up.

Opinion: Productivity and pay – why Canadians are (somewhat) better off

Comparing ourselves with the United States is a national pastime in Canada. Sometimes the comparison makes us look good (health care, public education). Sometimes it makes us look bad (consumer prices, productivity). Sometimes it reveals an altogether more nuanced story. Sadly, we often miss the nuance.

Our 2013 Speaker Series kicks off in front of a packed house

This year’s The Canada We Want in 2020 Speaker Series kicked off last night in Ottawa, with a spirited, insightful and provocative conversation about why competition matters to Canadian productivity and innovation.

Opinion: The need to experiment in healthcare

Canadians are always wont to compare our system to the U.S. This makes sense, but only in geographic terms. There are numerous examples of mixed public-private systems around the world that exhibit substantially greater cost effectiveness and better medical outcomes than our own.

Issues: Competition Matters – or does it?

It is our contention that if we are to have a more innovative, productive Canada by 2020, the business environment in this country needs to become more competitive. This is by no means the whole solution, and it may not even be the main solution, but it does appear to be part of the answer.

Opinion: Barriers to competition must fall if productivity is to gain

Canada’s lacklustre productivity growth has become a preoccupation of policy makers, and a prime suspect is the lack of competition faced by Canadian firms.

PODCAST & PHOTO: Canada 2020′s Year in Review 2012

Canada 2020′s Alex Paterson sits down with Vice President of Research Diana Carney to review The Canada We Want in 2020 project from the past year, as well as preview what is planed for 2013.

Opinion: Labour is key to being an energy superpower

Canada’s goal of becoming an energy superpower will not be achieved without considerable public policy action, especially from the federal government. Eugene Lang and Christopher Smillie explore the third step we must take.

Blog: The carbon conversation we’re ready to have

Carbon pricing was eviscerated in 2006, and has been portrayed as scorched earth ever since – a dead policy from a dead party leading to a dead end. But it’s not, really. Industry is ready to talk about it. The federal government is not – and that’s a problem.

Opinion: The New Clintonomics

At the recent Global Progress summit, Canada 2020′s Eugene Lang was the only Canadian in attendance to hear Bill Clinton unveil a road-map that could be seen as amounting to a macro economic policy doctrine for the U.S. — a new Clintonomics if you will.

Opinion: Inequality – defining the defining issue of our time

Diana Carney analyses the facts, figures and sentiment behind our growing concern with inequality. The story is not as simple as one might think.

Event recap: Larry Summers sizes up the fiscal cliff in Ottawa

8 November 2012 – Canada 2020 and TD presented renowned economist Lawrence H. Summers to a standing-room only crowd at Ottawa’s Château Laurier Hotel.

Opinion: Australia’s Asian Century – Canada’s too?

Last week the Australian government released a White Paper: Australia in the Asian Century. The nearly 300-page paper is ambitious, strategic, well-written and comprehensive. One Australian commentator called it ‘lofty and inspirational’. That is what is at the root of my Australia-envy.

Opinion: Omnibus budget legislation hits a new low

Thus began a new era in Canadian politics — the era of the abuse of budgets and their implementing legislation. A period characterized by the increasing dominance of the finance minister and his department.

Opinion: Falling off the ‘fiscal cliff’ will hurt Canada too

It has been said that when the U.S. sneezes Canada catches a cold. Today, America’s economy has a low grade fever that could develop into pneumonia in the next few months. The looming pneumonia is another American recession, a very real possibility.

Event Recap: Panelists confront ‘the new state capitalism’ at Buying Canada event

To watch this panel, visit the event page & click ‘Watch this video’

17 October 2012 (Ottawa) – On Wednesday, October …

Why we are bringing Larry Summers to Ottawa

Larry Summers is one of the foremost academic and applied economists of our time. The range of positions he has …

Canada 2020 Podcast: Don Newman and Dr. Eric Topol talk modern medicine

Last month, Canada 2020 and AMGEN brought Dr. Eric Topol to Ottawa to talk about his new book ‘The Creative …

Issues: Strategic industries, state-owned enterprises and the national interest

On Wednesday October 17 2012, Canada 2020 hosted a panel discussion on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) buying into strategic industries in Canada. This deck provides an introduction to the main issues at stake.

Opinion: The New Deal for Skills-Based Graduates

By George Burton
Canadore College President
Unemployment rates remain high and the latest data shows an uptick. Why is this, when so …

Opinion: What Canada should take from the WEF Competitiveness Report

This year, Canada slipped from 12 to 14 in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Rankings, having dropped two places …

Opinion: Nexen-CNOOC – Searching for Canada’s “Net Benefit”

Next month shareholders of Nexen vote on a lucrative offer from a company owned and controlled by the Chinese government …

Opinion: Venus and Mars Align – Income Inequality Agendas in France and America

When the President of the most anti-government country on earth and the President of the country that invented dirigisme are …

Opinion: International education the missing piece of Canada’s innovation agenda

When asked why they would want to study abroad, most Canadian university or college students give a variation on the …

Green vs. Growth: the false dichotomy

Earlier this month the UK’s Confederation of British Industry (CBI: the UK’s top business lobbying organization) released a report entitled …

Opinion: Inequality at the top of everyone’s agenda

Not two years ago, income inequality was a pretty obscure topic. Not so today.
Earlier this year the World Economic Forum …

Opinion: Searching for a new progressive narrative

In the last few years, commentators have remarked upon the narrative of Canada developed by the Harper Conservatives, emphasizing patriotism …

Opinion: Canada must adjust to the Asian century

Over the coming decades, Asia will become the global centre of aspiration, innovation and technology. Canada’s long-term prosperity and security …

Opinion: There is no cure for Dutch Disease

Thomas Mulcair, leader of the federal New Democratic Party, says Canada has Dutch Disease. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has implied …

Healthcare panelists ask: has the federal government abandoned its role?

Ottawa – The health care debate has evolved since the publication of The Canada We Want in 2020, prompting a …

Opinion: We can save money and improve health care

Ontario needs to find $2 billion in annual health care savings.
Provincial premiers and health care stakeholders had been gearing up …

Issues: Securing our health system for the future

The debate in health is far from where we expected it to be when we started work on The Canada …

Opinion: Whither the health debate?

The current federal health accord expires in 2014. Most expected that, by now, we would be entering a period of …

Panelists share their views on Asia: opportunities abound, but Canada is way behind

Ottawa – Canada must move aggressively to meet the Asia challenge, according to an expert panel organized by Canada 2020.
The …

Opinion: Yuen Pau Woo urges Canada to leap ahead in Asia

Canada is back in the game in Asia. With two recent visits by Prime Minister Harper (to China, Thailand, Korea, …

Opinion: Can a Small Change Budget Transform Canada’s Economy?

The federal Budget thus far seems to be known most for eliminating the penny, a small change initiative if there …

Issues: Rising to meet the Asia challenge

Asia’s growing importance is undisputed. It is not only in economic, but also in cultural and political/security spheres, that the …

Opinion: Dominic Barton urges a new Asia strategy for Canada

For the past 250 years, Canada’s deep and mutually beneficial economic links with its superpower neighbour to the south have …

Opinion: Eugene Lang on Ontario’s austerity budget with heart

On Tuesday the Liberal government tabled its long-awaited budget to wrestle the province’s eye-watering deficit to the ground and avert …

Record breaking temperatures in Ottawa as panelists discuss ways to curb carbon emissions

Ottawa – Canada needs a comprehensive strategy for reducing carbon emissions but there is no clear consensus on how to …

Opinion: Eugene Lang asks why the timing is never right for action on climate

Ten years ago, a very senior federal deputy minister told me that implementing Canada’s Kyoto Protocol target to reduce our …

Opinion: Ian Mallory’s proposals for helping the environment without hurting the economy

As the world struggles to restrict carbon emissions into the atmosphere, Canada stands out. Although many countries emit larger absolute …

Issues: Carbon and Energy

Canada is one of the highest per capita carbon dioxide emitters in the world. We are likely to increase, significantly, …

Opinion: Peter Nicholson calls for more public sector innovation

The Drummond report on Ontario’s fiscal woes came mixed with a visionary challenge to make Ontario “a province that provides …

Standing room only as panelists debate innovation and productivity

Ottawa – Productivity is down, innovation is lagging, and staying the course does not bode well for Canada’s future.
Over 300 …

Opinion: Lawson Hunter discusses the need to reset the regulatory agenda

Independent body needed to review rules
In February, Ottawa will almost certainly reveal long-awaited cuts across government departments. It will also …

Opinion: The free-market hasn’t delivered on productivity, writes Jim Stanford

In the initial postwar decades, Canada’s economy experienced a historic leap forward, qualitatively and quantitatively. Strong business investment, rapid industrialization, …

Opinion: Canada lags badly in innovation and productivity, writes Kevin Lynch

At the recent Davos World Economic Forum gathering, the Harvard Business School trumpeted a multi-year project on U.S. competitiveness, itself …

Opinion: Skilled trades deficit colliding with energy boom

For many years we have been told Canada faces an acute “skills mismatch,” where the economy has lots of great …

Issues: Productivity and Innovation

Productivity growth is essential to maintaining, or increasing, our standard of living. It is especially critical at the present time, …

Capacity crowd attend income inequality panel

Ottawa  – The  gap between rich and poor is at a record high, according to a new global economic study, …

Income inequality: a top global risk

Inequality of income is one of the hot button issues of our time. 2011 saw the rise of the Occupy …

Corak: Is the U.S. Still a ‘Land of Opportunity’?

BY: Miles Corak, University of Ottawa.

Corak examines economic mobility in the US vs. Canada.
Canada is still more economically mobile than …

Obama’s courting the youth vote with Keystone politics

BY: Eugene Lang, Canada 2020.
President Barack Obama has punted a controversial decision on the Keystone XL pipeline — which would …

Needed: Innovative Thinking on Innovation

The facts about poor Canadian productivity and innovation performance are easy to rhyme off. The discussion about how to address …

Five challenges we can’t ignore

BY: Diana Carney and Eugene Lang, Canada 2020.
Ottawa – Today, Canada faces challenges and opportunities that are quite unprecedented in …

Demont: Politics as Analogy

The first major promise of the 2011 federal campaign is one that no one really believes will come to fruition …

Demont: Democracy‘s Unintended Outcome

As the Arab world explodes in a paroxysm of protest and demands for democracy, distant history holds a warning as …

Eric Morse: ‘Who Watches the Watchdog?’ – Journalism and Foreign Policy

Eric Morse, Vice-Chair, Strategic Studies Committee, Royal Canadian Military Institute (RCMI) delivered the following speech to the Queen’s University Foreign Policy Conference, November …

DeMont: Politics of Simple Things

by Phil DeMont
Even as the controversy rages over the federal government’s plan to kill off the mandatory long-form census, what …

Debating in the Dark Ages

by Phil DeMont

Public policy thrives upon pointed discussion and different opinions.
However, every once in a while comes a viewpoint that …

David Cameron and the end of ideology

by Phil DeMont
As David Cameron settles in as the United Kingdom’s new Prime Minster, he heads up a British parliament …

Buy-buy Nortel, Bye-bye Canadian R&D spending

The international competition for R&D is extreme (source).

China’s R&D spending has grown by 22 per cent a year since 1996.
Australia …

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