On November 21, the Government of Canada released its 2018 Fall Economic Statement entitled “Investing in Middle Class Jobs”, which provides an update on the government’s finances and announces commitments to improve Canada’s competitiveness.
The government is projecting steady, moderate growth in Canada’s economy, with real GDP forecasted to rise by 2 percent in 2018. The Fall Economic Statement forecasts a deficit of $18.1 billion in 2018-19, down by $0.9 billion from the previous year. Growth is expected to be more modest over the next four years due to limited economic capacity, higher interest rates, and slowing US growth.
“The Chamber is concerned that the Economic Update lacks any plans to help Canada’s struggling energy industry. We call on government to lay out its plans for oil and gas workers during these exceptional times,” said Perrin Beatty, President & CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “We would also like to understand the government’s plans to address the need for more attention to skills development and training, as well as to attracting and retaining the best talent available for all industries in Canada.”
On Wednesday, November 21, 2018, Bill 47: Making Ontario Open for Business received Royal Assent.
Thank you to our members for filling out a recent survey on the impacts of changes proposed in Bill 47. The public comment period opened on Monday, November 12, 2018 and closed on Thursday, November 16, 2018.
With the feedback from our survey and a roundtable with MPP Dave Smith we were able to write a letter to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
On November 15, the Government of Ontario released its 2018 Fall Economic Statement entitled “2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review”, which provides an update on the government’s finances and announces commitments for the upcoming 2019 Budget.
The government is projecting steady, moderate growth in Ontario’s economy, with real GDP forecasted to rise by 2 percent in 2018. The Fall Economic Statement forecasts a deficit of $14.5 billion in 2018-19, down by $0.5 billion from the previous year. Growth is expected to be more modest over the next four years due to limited economic capacity, higher interest rates, and slowing US growth.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has provided a brief overview of the government's plan and we have added our Peterborough perspective to it.
One of the most constant refrains from our business community is the amount of red tape and regulation they are required to complete and the time it takes away from their business. We look forward to seeing how red tape reduction is rolled out.
It was in 2012 when the Canadian Government officially proclaimed November “Financial Literacy Month”. Since then, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has turned their focus to encouraging collaboration between the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to help Canadians become more educated about their own finances, including managing money and debt wisely, saving for the future, and understanding their own financial rights and responsibilities.
This year’s theme, as found on the FCAC website, is "Invest in your financial well-being". The goal is to encourage Canadians to take control of their finances and reduce financial stress by making a budget, having a savings and debt reduction plan, and understanding their financial rights and responsibilities.
Throughout the month, FCAC will feature weekly sub-themes including:
Financial literacy is a space where the Ontario Chamber Network has been extremely vocal, recognizing the importance of learning and understanding the fundamentals at an early age as a way to develop habits that will serve youth and our economy in the future. Earlier this year in Hamilton at the Ontario Chamber AGM delegates passed a resolution called “Closing the Gap on Financial Literacy for Ontario’s Youth”.
The resolution, authored by the London Chamber of Commerce, suggests a pathway forward for government to consider, given that climbing household debt is increasingly concentrated among younger Canadians, with the most indebted borrowers tending to be under 45 years of age. As well, two studies by PriceWaterhouse Cooper and BMO Wealth Management revealed that only 24% of millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy and yet, in the BMO study 23% cited paying down debt as their highest financial priority.
In the past governments have made attempts to address the issue yet differing opinions on how to
approach it and move the needle have seemed to hold back movement.
The approved policy resolution offers the following:
1. Create mandatory elementary and secondary-level courses aligned with the Ministry of Education’s Transformation Steering Committee’s guidelines that address the following:
2. Provide regular continuing professional development training for teachers required to teach this aspect of the curriculum with measurable standards teachers are required to meet.
3. Involve various stakeholders such as banks, credit unions and the province’s accounting body to assist with curriculum development.
4. Implement a standardized survey or test for students participating at various levels of this curriculum requirement to measure financial literacy rates among youth in Ontario.
5. Consult organizations such as Junior Achievement that have been delivering financial literacy programs for over 57 years.
This last recommendation is critical as the Chamber Network often encourages using the resources we already have in our communities. Junior Achievement Peterborough Lakeland Muskoka is doing great work and has a series of programs it delivers to school aged children.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce also supports a program called Funny Money which is financial literacy information delivered in an assembly setting.
Ultimately, having a population armed with the tools and knowledge to manage finances is a proactive approach to ensuring a productive economy.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) is releasing a new series of reports called “Data for Good: The $32-billion Boost”. This is the first of a three-part series exploring Canada’s data opportunity and the critical intersections between prosperity, technology and privacy.
The goal is to examine how personal data is used to help innovate and create products and services that improve people’s lives and specifically how Canada can help lead the global digital community and conversation.
The report looks to answer a critical question: "Will Canada act or be acted upon by the Fourth Industrial Revolution? The fourth industrial revolution is an absolute juggernaut of technological evolution, which is moving exponentially faster than the first three. With AI anticipated to boost our GDP by $32 billion by 2021, Canada needs the right framework to be an actor in the coming data economy that allows for trust and incentivizes innovation."
The report explores a variety of areas around data including what it looks like, how it’s used, how it’s valued, and how it’s important to share it.
One section, “From Datum to Data” differentiates between the bits of information on their own and how they tell a story when structured. The report identifies what good data quality looks like, including that it is:
Did you know that by 2021it's estimated that 53.7% of the world's population will be using the internet?
In keeping with the title of the report the following excerpt drives home the connections we already have to data: "Data provides the intelligence that product developers rely on to improve efficiency and efficacy. Communications, connectivity, infrastructure, safety and well-being are all enhanced by data.
The world is more connected than ever. Not just internet users but also machines. Networks of cameras, sensors, vehicles and mobile applications are all feeding decision-making. Newspaper editors are making decisions about content and placement of stories that are informed by online reading habits, bringing the most relevant and interesting facts to your attention.
The GPS on your phone can now provide you with alternate routes that avoid traffic jams because the system recognizes a pattern of congestion of mobile phones.
Railway crossings are safer because machines are able to alert trains of unusual behaviour at intersections. Speech recognition has decreased wait times at call centres and enabled us to communicate our needs without a keyboard interface. Capturing driver behaviour has enabled vehicle parts manufacturers to design parts that are safer and more resilient."
The report also explores where there are opportunities for Canada such as cybersecurity, articifical intelligence and research.
In their second series, they will be taking a look at some of the major data breaches of the past few years and examine the emerging trends in technology that have put the collection, storage and use of
personal information at risk.
On November 1, 2018, the federal government introduced new rules around how a business must report a data breach. There are five significant changes of which to be aware, including fines.
Amy Simpson of MicroAge Peterborough agrees that awareness is key. “Now more than ever we need to secure our businesses' IT / Data to minimize the risk of a breach. You are responsible for protecting your client’s data, and now there is the possibility of large fines if you don’t report it.”
As stated on the Privacy Commissioner of Canada website: “The amendments impose a new set of obligations onto organizations to inform individuals if their personal information has been lost, stolen or inappropriately accessed, and they are placed at risk of harm. Specifically, the Digital Privacy Act states that: