© David Micalef - 2019

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Canada's economic growth has begun to slow down. Labour force participation has declined due to an aging population, temporary foreign workers, outsourcing, and an increasing usage of automation. While trade around the world has exploded, especially with the emergence of Asian markets, Canada continues to rely almost exclusively on the United States, which buys close to three-quarters of Canadian exports. Finally, our reliance on fossil fuels is becoming a double edged sword as the world is embracing renewable energy technology.

Despite Canadians' forward thinking of accepting diversity and early adoption of issues such as legalizing marijuana and gay marriage, the business culture is protectionist, generic, archaic, and close minded. Despite embracing the cash cow that is marijuana, Canadian governments have chosen to heavily regulate and restrict private industry. In other markets, foreign competition is practically non-existent and a number of industries are ruled by oligopolies.  The following industries are dominated by a handful of Canadian companies, stifling competition and innovation:

  1. Airline industry: 2 companies;

  2. Canadian Banking industry: 6 companies;

  3. Internet service provider industry: 4 companies;

  4. Wireless telecommunications industry: 3 companies;

  5. English-language television broadcasting industry: 3 companies; and

  6. Supermarket industry: 3 companies.

​Given the market domination, as well as high start-up cost to participate in these industries, there is no risk of competition. Quality can be decreased in favor of increasing shareholder value. If there is no need to compete, there is also no need to innovate. Canada's best and brightest move south of the border, especially those in tech industries, for better pay and opportunities.

Canada needs to diversify industry, in every sense of the word.

The following is required to jump start the Canadian economy:

  1. Aggressively enforce existing policies and laws instead of turning a blind eye to oligopolies;

  2. Remove protectionist policies that limit competition;

  3. Streamline regulatory processes;

  4. Assess which markets can be safely opened to foreign competition and open them;

  5. Markets which can’t be safely opened to foreign competition will have the infrastructure nationalized and companies will compete on service;

  6. Reward innovation and entrepreneurship;

  7. Increase trade with countries other than the U.S.;

  8. Diversify the Canadian economy, with a focus on developing new technology;

  9. Provide incentives for companies to hire Canadian employees; and

  10. Change the business culture to reward investing in employees and thinking long term instead of short term.