Canada has a mixed economy and is beginning to become more market oriented like the United Sates. Its economy is mostly industrial and urban, and employs many skilled workers. Decades before, Canada relied mostly on its primary industry that was dependent on its abundant natural resources. However, Canada’s economy has been recently reshaped by technological advancements. We are quickly becoming an economy based on knowledge, innovation, and technology. We are also evolving with the rest of the global economy, as industrial innovation is now highly encouraged in Canada. In fact, more and more Canadian businesses take advantage of advances in communications technology to work on the global market. As a result, Canada’s economy has been constantly growing, and in fact, 1999 was the 8th consecutive year of economic growth for Canada.1
Yes, things are looking good. You can even say that things are looking great. I mean just look at the statistics:
"GDP: $875 billion
GDP per capita: $27 700
Revenues: $178.6 billion
Expenditures: $161.4 billion"2
Just look at the numbers. We are actually making profits in the billions. Along with our advancements in technology, our natural resources are remaining strong. In fact, our oil jumped from $1.64 US per barrel to $37.70 US per barrel early this year.3 Unfortunately, while our economy is growing in general, the numbers also tell a different story: the poorer are getting poorer, and the richer are getting richer.
As of 2001, Canada’s unemployment rate was 7.2%.4 Let’s think of that number for a second. There are approximately 30 million people in Canada. 7.2% of that is about 2.16 million. 2.16 million people were unemployed in 2001, and that number is steadily growing. Canada is not the perfect country so many see us to be. We are, in fact, having trouble with poverty in our own nation. And with poverty and unemployment, comes a slow worsening in our economy. For this growing problem, I propose that Canada create a program for unemployed people to help them succeed. Many of our unemployed people, don’t even have a high school diploma. The program would consist of a one year term where the people would undergo the training needed to find a job in the outside world, and the diploma they receive, would be equivalent to a high school diploma in finding a job. Hopefully, this will help keep people off the streets and in workplaces so that they can provide for themselves and their families. And of course, this program would be government-based, and therefore, be paid for by our taxes.
Unfortunately, Canada’s economy has more concerns. The main concern for Canada is that our professionals are being lured to the south (U.S.A.) by higher pay and lower taxes. We are losing our skilled workers, to our rich neighbours in the south. Can you blame them? Unfortunately, however, this hurts our nation in more ways than one. One way is that we are losing the people who run our economy the best that it can be run. As all our skilled workers leave, we are left with less-skilled workers, which will cause our economy to suffer. This will also make our health care system suffer. We are currently in a shortage of doctors, and to make things worse, most of the skilled workers lured to the United States are our very own doctors. As a result, Canadian medical schools will have to open more spots, and therefore, many of the graduates may not graduate with the qualifications and qualities a doctor needs.
We are in dire need of a solution for this. How can our government keep our skilled workers in Canada, and as a result, keep our economy strong? Well, the first thing is to somehow offer them as much as the U.S. is, or create an alternative that will be just as appealing. We can, for one, increase their salaries, or lower taxes once they’ve reached a certain amount of pay. Another thing we can do, is continuously raise awareness and advertise the positive things that come with being a Canadian. For one: safety. That’s obvious when you see that just about anyone in the United States can register for a gun, and when you see the crime rates in the States, it becomes blatantly obvious why Canada is a safer choice. Furthermore, especially recently, the United States have been targeted by terrorists. In fact, we may soon be seeing more American citizens coming to Canada who are fearful for their lives. We may not be able to offer them higher pay or lower taxes, but we can remind them of how much better it would be to grow a family in our safer nation.
1"Canadian Economy Overview," http://www.canadianeconomy.gc.ca
2"CIA Factbook for Canada," http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ca.html
3"Oilpatch Fuels Economy,"
4"Canada's Economy Keeps Booming,"
A Krista de la Rama, Joshua Liu, and Lauren Wood Production | 2002-2003