There is now no hope of meeting our international commitment to lower annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 by 17 per cent below the 2005 level.
It won’t be that easy moving us to stronger growth and job creation. But we surely should do everything we can to improve the life chances for all Canadians rather than resigning ourselves to slow growth and diminished expectations.
If we are to have engaged public policy discussion that draws on the collective knowledge, experience and ideas of Canadians we should end up with better policies. This applies to almost every area of public policy.
In Canada's recent federal election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was able to form a majority government with just under 40 per cent of the votes cast by Canadians. But is that fair?
Despite a focus on families, there is little discussion on how to counter the prospect of a decline in living standards and growing inequality.
Canada has to be ready. IRAP is one of the best vehicles we have to succeed in such a challenging world. Our future economy should be a top election issue.
As it is, as a federal government discussion paper recently stated, 'there is some evidence to suggest that Canada is not well-positioned to be an innovation leader.' Another across-the-board corporate tax cut won't change that.
But this is the issue that is largely missing from the Liberal economic strategy, yet it is central to our future.
If we are looking for economic stimulus to drive innovation and create new jobs, then launching a transformative shift to a low-carbon economy may be our best hope.
But it also means ensuring that existing industries have the tools and people to become more innovative. It also means making the public sector more innovative.
We are not training the thousands of skilled people we will need for success. We are not digitizing our vast collections of cultural material. Our financial structure is failing to provide the risk capital innovators need to start new businesses.
Now there is a great need to promote exercise and healthy diet, including tough regulation of sugar and sodium content and requirements for public disclosure of sugar and salt content by fast-food restaurants.
Kevin Page was right to point out the folly of ignoring the challenge, or delaying action for long, what he largely ignored was the potential for initiatives that could do much to mitigate the pessimistic forecasts of an aging society
One of the biggest issues we face is how to build a much more innovative economy that can meet the challenges of 21st century global competition and sustain a high and sustainable quality of life with good jobs. Canada has to get cracking.