Canada’s business leaders want newly elected lawmakers to shift their attention to the economy following an election campaign that sorely lacked how to secure the country’s future prosperity.
Much of the campaign’s focus zeroed in on pocketbook commitments, which were designed to win individual voter support. Pledges emphasized redistribution of government money, with vows including tax cuts and credits, rather than detailed game plans on how to lift Canadian sectors.
The election’s result — a minority mandate for the Liberals — will likely add an additional layer of uncertainty about the future of economic policy. To pass legislation, the Liberals will now have to find partners among their rivals, which creates doubts around what the government will eventually deliver.
The business community is urging the incoming government to build blueprints on how best to boost growth and to ensure Canada keeps up with the rest of the world.
“Lack of proposals or even discussions of a prosperity strategy by candidates seeking public office is very disconcerting,” Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO of Research In Motion and chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators, told The Canadian Press in an email.
“Regardless of who governs, the only way we can pay for this country is by having a strategy to generate new revenues on a per-capita basis.”
Balsillie, whose council represents some of Canada’s fastest-growing firms, said in today’s economy the most-valuable assets are intellectual property and data. He warned the economy will continue to face head winds unless Canada makes a real effort to encourage the commercialization of these assets.
Even with the global economy showing signs of a slowdown, the political parties largely steered clear of any thorough debate on the state of Canada’s economy.