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Canada's Low productivity

Low productivity in Canada has been a perennial problem.

It has fallen from 1984 88% of that of US to 71% today.

Have we been asleep all that time? No, we prefer to point fingers elsewhere : blame it on pandemic, inflation and globalization.

I have read the speech by Governor of the BoC on Canada's productivity woes and his polite review on the matter.

BoC's latest advice is : after we waited for emergency to set in to now is time 'break the glass'.

It's no time for rhetoric. Time to call a spade a spade.


You speak about innovation and technology. How many USPTO or CIPO patents have we in Canada obtained compared to China over the past decade? Why limit Canada's comparison to that of the G7? Look at the Global South. Why not China or India?

Are we really paying attention to where the future high-value industries are coming from? Or same ole lip service to allow companies in these industries to grow and thrive?

I encourage us to take a closer look at Canada's economy. We essentially extract stuff from the earth and sell it overseas. Technology and innovation are a low priority. Yet as our government spends billions the results are pathetic. Just visit any GoC website and try to navigate through to find what you need. It's a real joke.


Yes, I agree. Most innovation comes from small companies investing in innovating, bootstrapping and finding ways to be more efficient. But If we are serious about helping them, why such drastic limitations on the few programs like SRED and NRC IRAP? In US they have the SBDC with small business protection. Canada abandoned a similar program many years ago.


We spend too much on studies go nowhere except on the shelves gathering dust. No action. The last thing we need today is another study on productivity. We have the report published by the Treasury Board of Canada on skills, technology and innovation. I think it’s joined the others on the shelf. Let's dust it off and put some measures into action.


BoC talks about what can be done. Listen and involve the small businesses in the battlefront. Look around you and open your eyes. How many productive hours lost every day in traffic? Can we promote more remote or hybrid work? Look at under-utilization of our workforce skills, Is no secret we see taxi drivers with PhDs and Medical degrees! We have been aware of this for decades. Yet to date, no action taken, Why?

Without resorting to fancy economics, there basic measures Bo C and our government can take to alleviate the pain we feel. Just read the reports.


My final comment is on investment in Canada. If as BoC states : there are many advantages that should lead to higher investment and productivity, the simple question is : Why is not happening? Are we blind, deaf or maybe dumb?

My question to BoC governor is : Is tweaking interest rates the only tool at our disposal to deal with our economic and related productivity issues? I am aware that after World War II other successful measures like rationing and similar programs were utilized. Yes, is different today. So why not try something different?

'We cannot continue doing the same and expect different results' the famous quotation by Andy Grove.

Something has to give before we can begin to see REAL change.


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