Toronto, April 6 – Century Initiative today launched its 2nd annual National Scorecard on Canada’s Growth and Prosperity. The Scorecard, which was launched at a Globe and Mail event aimed at bolstering Canadian innovation, tracks progress towards a bold economic and social vision for the country. Should this vision come to pass, our population will have grown – and so too our productivity, prosperity and international prestige.
It provides a strategic window into where Canada leads, remains on track, needs to focus attention, or is falling behind on key issues that will influence Canada’s future.
The indicators in the Scorecard are deeply interconnected, spanning many traditionally siloed sectors and areas of policymaking and practice. Yet collectively they tell a powerful story, assessing the groundwork that we must lay to secure Canada’s economic and social prosperity.
If we measure our progress, we can manage it, and make the strategic decisions we need to propel Canada forward. All Canadians can engage with the Scorecard and its indicators to explore the role that growing Canada’s population can play in building long-term, sustainable, and shared prosperity.
“The world needs more Canada – but that means we need more Canadians,” says Lisa Lalande, Chief Executive Officer, Century Initiative. “We need to think bigger – and that means we need to get bigger. We need more Canadians and the social and physical infrastructure required to support them. But to see that tomorrow, we need to start laying the foundations now - a bigger Canada tomorrow starts with bold policy moves today.”
The unique value proposition of Century Initiative’s National Scorecard on Canada’s Growth and Prosperity is its focus on Canada’s progress toward growing well: that is, ensuring that population growth is sustainable and that the benefits of this growth are shared by everyone who calls Canada their home.
It is intended to be used by actors in the public sector, the private sector, and civil society alike – to track progress, identify actionable items, and do their part towards building a bigger and more prosperous Canada.
The National Scorecard shows that while Canada is performing well in some key areas, we have work to do in other key areas if we are to leave a more prosperous and influential country for future generations.
Canada is on track with respect to immigration and education, skills and employment, with high immigration targets and one of the world’s strongest education systems. But challenges remain: fertility rates remain low, our infrastructure is aging, our productivity lags peer nations and our supports for families must be strengthened.
Top insights from the Scorecard include:
1. While Canada saw its slowest population growth in more than a century we are taking action through expanded immigration level targets, for which Century Initiative has advocated. Canada must also focus on increasing healthy life expectancy for all Canadians and on delivering policies that support Canadians’ choices on family size.
2. Growing immigration must coincide with significant policy and systems changes to close gaps in educational opportunity, employment and infrastructure frequently experienced by Indigenous peoples.
3. Canada remains a destination for entrepreneurial and skilled immigrants worldwide. Work remains to be done in ensuring we retain the immigrants we attract, particularly in regions suffering from demographic challenges. We have successfully built systems that help us retain international students – this must be improved for other temporary residents.
4. The modern economy rewards innovation and creativity – but Canada lags its global competitors in both productivity and private sector R&D investment.
5. Canada’s education system remains one of the best in the world – but supports for lifelong learning could be strengthened, through investment in skill-building, training and career navigation support.
6. The pandemic damaged Canadian mothers’ employment rates. This harms women and their families but also the economy overall. Improving supports to families, through policies like a Canada-wide child care system, will better position Canada for long-term prosperity.
7. A Canada where more people live in denser, well-planned cities will be a Canada that is cleaner, greener, more prosperous and with a higher quality of life. At present, housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable for young Canadians and diminishes the country’s value proposition to potential newcomers. That must change.
8. The status quo is unsustainable. Now is the time to take intentional and strategic action to set Canada on track for long-term growth and prosperity.
Canada faces real challenges – but it has also had real successes. This year’s scorecard is a call to action for actors in every sector to work together for our shared vision of a bigger Canadian future.
By acting today, we can build a bigger, bolder and brighter tomorrow for all Canadians – those already living here, and those yet to come.
For more information, view the National Scorecard on Canada’s Growth and Prosperity.
The print and web versions of the National Scorecard were designed and developed by Sandbox Inc.