The world around us is changing rapidly. For a country such as Canada, there are many opportunities, but also fundamental and inter-related challenges. If these challenges are not addressed in a strategic and coherent way – including building a societal consensus to address them – we risk falling behind competitor countries in the advanced and emerging worlds.
Many elements of Canadian society – the business community, governments at all levels, educational institutions, and Canadian citizens generally – must work to address these challenges. It is, nevertheless, our contention that the federal government has a special leadership responsibility at this time of unprecedented change.
For this reason we have established a programme that seeks to raise the level of debate in Canada about the role of the federal government in five key areas:
- Increasing innovation and productivity
- Rising to meet the Asia challenge
- Squaring the carbon circle
- Reducing income disparities and polarization
- Securing our health system for the future
Phase 1 : In November 2011 we launched a book in both French and English containing three papers in each of the five areas. Authors were invited to focus on strategic policy options for the federal government.
Phase 2 : Between January and May 2012 we hosted panels on each of our five focus areas.
Phase 3 : We will continue to work in our five focus areas, raising the level of public debate and developing progressive policy solutions. Between January and May 2013 we will host a second series of panels, one in each of the areas. We will also be producing dedicated research papers to support the panels and advance knowledge.