Canada at the crossroads


Canada at a new crossroads: 25 years later

We need new and courageous conversations

What we need are new and courageous conversations—about the choices we face, and the trade-offs we must make, to give the country the best odds of a prosperous future from today forward.

This discussion paper is intended to spark just such conversations across the country, as part of Deloitte's new ambitious Canada at 175 program, leading up to our country’s 150th birthday.

To do so, we consider where we stand relative to some of the recommendations made in the original Canada at the crossroads—a report written by Roger Martin, John Armstrong, and Michael Porter in 1991. We then explore the trends and uncertainties that will impact our future. But more importantly, we posit four different scenarios that could impact the economic health and well-being of the country. These scenarios purposely and fundamentally challenge us to consider the different ways the world around us might impact our economic future. Underpinning our use of scenarios is the central belief that we cannot, nor should we try, to predict the future. Instead, as a country, we need to consider, be prepared for, adapt, and make choices in the context of different possible futures.

Throughout the paper, we argue that if Canada is to truly lead in an uncertain world, Canadian executives, government leaders, and citizens must engage in constructive, courageous conversations about the future direction of our country. Our commitment is to ask those tough questions that will help to define our way forward:

  • How will we harness advanced technologies and automation to create tomorrow’s jobs, securing ongoing wealth for our country that includes people from every economic level?
  • Is Canada prepared to take deliberate and extraordinary action to support areas of true competitive advantage in our country? And if so, on what basis?
  • As labour grows less relevant in driving prosperity, what is the optimum size and composition of Canada’s labour force, and what is the best combination of skills to support long-term growth?
  • What must we do better to support sustained innovation in Canadian businesses, governments, and society?
  • What will it mean to be a responsible, responsive, and courageous business leader in the future in Canada?

Deloitte will be hosting courageous conversations across the country with directors of boards, CEOs, and policy shapers and makers.

Through discussions focused on the vexing questions we’ve proposed, our goal will be to inspire the kind of long-term thinking and moral bravery required to ensure that we are more focused in the next 25 years than we were in the 25 previous.

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