I recently attended the release of the September 2007 report from the Centre for Innovation and Prosperity in Ontario. There were some great examples of folks in the community battling poverty on the ground and generally working to enhance Canada's capability to compete by focusing on education and youth. As well as improving coordination among government agencies to better support new Canadian Citizens.
My notes follow (fwiw) the highlight for me though was Roger Martin's insight that Canadian corporate elite have a misconception or fear of re-investing profits, amazing as that is.
Prosperity and Innovation September report - Notes
- transfer payment/redistribution has not helped inequality
is the middle class disappearing? (globe printed this chart) no, not really (slight percentage decrease)
- are poor getting poorer and rich getting richer
increases in inequality are predominantly a function of rich getting richer than the median Ontarian vs the poorer getting worse off than the median
- corporate profits going up but wages, salaries and supplementary income going down
- fear in Canada that if investing like crazy will be bought by private equity; need to take profits and re-invest
- when we don't grow large pie as well, we reduce our ability to keep up look at 1980-90 at 20th percentile income our gap was out-performing peer states now we're not
- encouraging folks to go to university is a good thing to do as it increases likelihood of higher wages
- immigrants even more likely to be unemployed (below poverty line): immigration policy has changed we de-linked economic performance to allowing immigrants in - invite them in at a time when getting a job is really tough
- only 18% of Cdn vs 25.6% of Americans are educated at University level. immigrants are more educated.
- Pathways example on importance of education - Regent Park in Toronto. This was a pretty profound presentation and grounded in reality. For example, the head of the program spoke about support and holding young person accountable to decision, the fact that you can't just throw money at it, the community needs to want it and participate in it (it has to come from them and be part of them)
biggest complaint: Canadian experience and education
better connections between departments
availability of programs