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Stories by David Crane

Canada’s No. 1 economic challenge is improving our productivity performance

Opinion|By David Crane
If we recognized as a country that the only way we can meet our future needs is through innovation-led productivity growth, then we would be on the right track. But we are not there yet.
Opinion|By David Crane
Even the new name reflects that we have moved from a North American free trade agreement to a U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement.
Opinion|By David Crane
By making frailty a priority in health care and social policy, governments can help Canadians to 'not only live longer, but live better as well.' It's a worthy national goal.
Opinion|By David Crane
Boosting our productivity performance so that we can raise the growth potential of the economy is—and in the process addressing income inequality and environmental sustainability.
Opinion|By David Crane
But Finance Minister Bill Morneau should put the brakes on boasting. While the headline numbers look good, digging down into those numbers shows that Canadians still face many challenges.
Opinion|By David Crane
The Trudeau government has made the Conservative approach easier. While moving in the right direction, they have failed to provide the necessary leadership to persuade Canadians on the importance of climate action.
Opinion|By David Crane
The Mexican and U.S. governments barred Canada from the NAFTA negotiations, and are now threatening Canada with penalties if it doesn't sign up for the deal they negotiated.
Opinion|By David Crane
Canada currently sits in the middle of the pack among OECD countries in terms of poverty and income inequality.
Author
Opinion|By David Crane
Canada's aging society will pressure the new minister to find better solutions for housing, health care, and post-retirement income for seniors, writes David Crane.
Opinion|By David Crane
The world is slowly but surely moving to a low-carbon economy, and Canada better jump on board.
Opinion|By David Crane
Having two trade ministers instead of one may make for good political optics—suggesting a lot more is being done even if it isn’t. But if Canada is to be more successful in the global economy it will take more than exhortations from Jim Carr and Mary Ng to export more.
Opinion|By David Crane
This is surely a compelling investment for a more inclusive economy, opening more opportunities for women, while also building better life chances for the youngest Canadians.
Opinion|By David Crane
Clearly, we need much greater attention to the productivity/innovation/competitiveness challenge if we are to successfully transition to an aging society, sustain the public programs we value.
Opinion|By David Crane
The answer is to make the transition to a low-carbon world, one where we replace fossil fuels with other sources of energy, such as hydropower, nuclear power, and the new technologies of solar, wind, and hydrogen.
Opinion|By David Crane
Finance Minister Bill Morneau should reward companies that actually make productive investments, for example, by boosting an investment tax credit, writes columnist David Crane.
Opinion|By David Crane
There is a different kind of refugee/asylum-seeking crisis brewing and this time it is the Liberals who are on the defensive.
Opinion|By David Crane
We are underperformers when it comes to turning our smart and clever startup companies into much larger scaled-up companies that can generate future jobs, exports, and the tax revenues that come from business success.
Opinion|By David Crane
Critics of supply management forget that other countries include costly taxpayer subsidies to dairy farmers instead, writes David Crane.
Opinion|By David Crane
iIf we were growing our foreign debt to finance productive investments for the future, that would be fine. But we are growing our foreign debt to finance our current consumption.
Opinion|By David Crane
Canada’s takeover of the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5-billion, with another estimated $7.5-billion or more needed to twin the pipeline, is a dubious initiative for several reasons. But it showed Canada can act when it has to. Imagine if a similar amount of money had been available to really build up our own tech sector. The benefits would have been much greater. Instead, we have R&D branch plants.
Opinion|By David Crane
We can make big gains in healthy aging and in the use of technology to improve the lives of older Canadians. But we cannot gloss over the huge challenges ahead.
Opinion|By David Crane
They hope that they can garner votes by opposing any increase in prices at the gas pump from carbon pricing, though they have no objection if oil companies raise prices.
Opinion|By David Crane
Persuading and enabling more Canadians to work, and to work longer, is also important, since this would boost labour supply, which also matters in raising the potential growth rate.
Opinion|By David Crane
There’s no question the Trudeau government has opened the spending taps. While the Trudeau government’s initiatives are certain to have some positive benefit for Canada’s innovation capacity, that they will go far in closing our innovation gap with the world’s leading innovation nations is another question.
Opinion|By David Crane
The alternative is a high risk of global disorder, the breakdown of the global rules and conventions that have played such a large role in guiding progress over the past 70 years.
Opinion|By David Crane
But much of the activity in the innovation ecosystems is the result of activity by Google, Microsoft, and other Big Tech players and not through the development and scaling up of Canadian companies.
Opinion|By David Crane
Like climate change, the future of jobs is one of those looming issues that cannot be avoided. Technology is on the march and has its own seemingly unstoppable momentum, dividing us because it delivers both benefits and costs.
Opinion|By David Crane
It's climate change, stupid: The tiny first step to nation-wide carbon pricing, at $10 a tonne starting Jan. 1,  2019, is now a step closer with the introduction of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. The federal government will have the power to impose a carbon price on any province that tries to shirk its climate responsibilities.
Opinion|By David Crane
While the middle class—especially individuals with taxable incomes in the $90,000-$100,000 range—have benefitted from Liberal tax cuts, those Canadians with taxable incomes of $45,283 or less have been left out even though their need for extra income was obviously greater.
Opinion|By David Crane
Canada should make it clear that it wants no part of the Trump administration’s bellicose trade policies and that it rejects the admiration’s view of trade as a zero-sum game.
Opinion|By David Crane
The real questions are much bigger. So let’s see what MPs have to say in the upcoming 2018 budget debate.
Opinion|By David Crane
The danger is that if not done sensitively, we could end up with a divided society with deep pools of resentment among those who feel that gender policies treat them unfairly or ignore their own needs.

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