December 27, 2012
The global recession, coupled with massive public and private debt, has created a period of economic uncertainty not seen in more than a generation. The bailouts, shell games and rhetoric can't solve the fundamental math problem: We need economic growth and jobs to pay down debt and fund program spending. It's daunting to consider how the next generation of Canadians will be better off than we are.
The most important yet elusive question is how to create jobs for the unemployed, underemployed and new university graduates. But how to do this while global competition is intensifying, markets are quickly shifting and many multinationals are downsizing and outsourcing work overseas?
Economists say Canadians should move into more innovative and high-value work. A key strategy has been to increase enrolment in postsecondary institutions. While this is important, more is needed.
Canada needs more innovation and entrepreneurship. We need better structures to allow people with great ideas to put them to work - to start their own businesses - and to allow us to earn our way out of our individual and collective challenges. We must refocus on the same basic proposition that built this country and rely on the imagination, skill and productivity of individual Canadians to do business. With the benefit of modern technology and arguably the lowest barriers to business entry in human history, it may not be as hard as we think.
Read the full commentary here.