There is so much to unpack from Canada’s recently announced federal budget. If you feel you’ve reached your limit with the ad nauseam coverage of new investments and their implications, we commiserate, but we want to squeak in three insights that align with what our interviewee’s have been asking for from government.
Here are TheFutureEconomy.ca’s top three takeaways from Canada’s federal budget announcement, and consequently, the direction in which the future economy is heading.
1. Strengthening Canada’s Life Sciences Sector
Only one month ago, TheFutureEconomy.ca shone a light on Canada’s life sciences ecosystem, with our Future of Biomanufacturing Series. Canada’s bioengineering and biomanufacturing leaders and researchers spoke about how their community has mobilized the life sciences industry to grow into the “bio revolution.”
Suffice to say, the Trudeau government’s announcement of $2.2 billion to the life sciences and biomanufacturing industries will have been incredibly welcome. Our interviewees also called on Canada to come together, with direction from the federal government, for a long-term view on Canada’s future bio-based industries and strategies to capitalize on our strengths in genomics research.
It seems that the federal government has answered those calls, announcing Canada’s first Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy, which we will soon be covering in a much-anticipated series with Genome Canada.
2. Skilling Up
“Skills” is a word that we hear a lot, because it is a problem area for Canada. To put it simply, the pace at which the economy is developing is moving faster than the speed at which our labour force can adapt. Not only does this strike a chord with Canada’s highly educated workers who must adjust to leverage the power of artificial intelligence, it lays bare the growing talent gap, which is leading to inequalities in Canadian society. As the budget rightly notes, this has only been exacerbated by the pandemic.
TheFutureEconomy.ca revealed those issues in our Future of Work Series, in which many of our interviewee’s drove home the value of reskilling and upskilling Canada’s workforce, harnessing our quality education system to best prepare students, and the importance of supporting youth (from underrepresented groups in particular) for success in Canada’s economy. We think you should explore the whole series, but our Spotlight on Canada’s Labour Force and the Recovery probably aligns closest with this year’s budget.
3. Investing in the Indigenous Economy
The federal budget has made clear that Indigenous communities and economies are a priority, likely in part due to the fact that closing the socioeconomic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians could grow the national GDP by $27 billion annually.
Indigenous infrastructure, business, finance and tourism were all on the priority list, but the most telling investment lies with Indigenous women, who will receive $2.2 billion over five years—no doubt a response to Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
TheFutureEconomy.ca spoke with Indigenous leaders in our Spotlight on the Post-COVID Indigenous Economy, which exposed what is needed to ensure more resilient and prosperous Indigenous communities. We eagerly await exploring more on this issue, which is critical to achieving a more inclusive economy.
While you’re perusing the series above, we hope you will spend some time getting to know our platform, which hopes to inspire and empower you to create an inclusive, innovative, sustainable and world-leading future economy.