Press Release: Century Initiative’s National Scorecard on Canada’s Growth and Prosperity

March 30, 2021
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Century Initiative’s National Scorecard on Canada’s Growth and Prosperity: a new roadmap to growing Canada’s population and ensuring sustainable prosperity for future generations

Toronto, March 30 – Century Initiative today launched The National Scorecard on Canada’s Growth and Prosperity, providing policy makers with an important new tool to track our progress toward a more prosperous Canada for more Canadians. 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 country for future generations. It was launched as part of the Globe and Mail’s “People and Prosperity – Planning for Canadian Growth” event.

Using data from a range of sources, including the OECD and Statistics Canada, the National Scorecard tracks 40 indicators, grouped into seven focus areas that examine the factors that contribute to responsible population growth and compare Canada’s performance to similar countries,  or against goals we’ve already established as a country. They include:

  • Immigration;
  • The economy, employment and entrepreneurship;
  • Education and training;
  • Support for children and families;
  • Infrastructure and urban development; and
  • Our ability to grow sustainably and in a manner that ensures prosperity is widely shared.

Population size is a key contributor to social and economic prosperity. Unfortunately, Canada’s population growth is at its lowest in over 100 years due to Covid-19. Since 2016, Century initiative has advocated for policies to support growing our population to 100 million by 2100.

“Canada is at a crossroads; our population is aging, we’re having fewer children, and our workforce is shrinking,” said Mark Wiseman, Century’s Board Chair. “As a consequence, we will have fewer tax dollars for health care, schools, transit, and other social services. Over time, that will lead to a decline in our quality of life and the cultural fabric of the country. So, we have a choice: we can manage our growth or manage our decline. With the National Scorecard we have the right tool to provide the data and insights we need to grow our population well and ensure a high standard of living for all.”

A population of 100 million would reduce the burden on government revenues to fund health care, old age security, and other services Canadians rely on for our high standard of living. It would also mean more skilled workers, innovation, and dynamism in the Canadian economy.

“Population growth alone isn’t enough; we must also grow well,” said Lisa Lalande, Century Initiative’s CEO. “That means we must think longer term, and we must ensure that the benefits of growth are shared among all Canadians, including Indigenous peoples, and that we act with a commitment to environmental sustainability. And our planning must begin now if we want to leave a more prosperous Canada for future generations.”

The National Scorecard’s findings show that Canada is performing well in some key areas but needs to focus more attention and action in other areas.  For instance, we remain among the top countries in the world when it comes to our international reputation enhancing our ability to attract people to Canada. We also have a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem and we are leaders when it comes to high school performance in reading, math and science, and in the proportion of our population with post-secondary education.

However, Canada must do more to leverage our international reputation to attract immigrants to Canada, and do a better job of matching them to meet labour market needs. Similarly, we must focus on enhancing productivity and increase spending on business R&D, in addition to increasing investments from public and private sources for employee training programs. We need to move forward with federal commitments to develop a national childcare program. This can improve child well-being, labour force participation for parents, particularly mothers, and could support families to have more children.  And we must continue to renew investments in infrastructure and urban development, while also doing more to prioritize progress on environmental sustainability.

“The National Scorecard is ambitious in scope and bold in intent, and we recognize that measuring our progress toward a goal that is almost a century away is not easy,” added Lalande. “But if we want to build a more prosperous Canada for future generations we need to start thinking and acting now. In the years ahead, Century Initiative will work with partners and experts to continue developing the approaches and tools to measure our progress. We can’t afford not to.”

For more information, view the National Scorecard on Canada’s Growth and Prosperity. For a summary of key findings, read the National Scorecard Key Findings.

For more information about the Globe and Mail’s “People and Prosperity – Planning for Canadian Growth” event, visit https://na.eventscloud.com/website/23043/.

The print and web versions of the National Scorecard were designed and developed by Sandbox Inc.

About Century Initiative

Century Initiative is a national, non-partisan charity with a mission to enhance Canada’s long-term prosperity, resiliency and global influence by responsibly growing the population of Canada to 100 million by 2100. Century Initiative delivers its mission by leading, enabling and partnering on initiatives that support long-term thinking and planning in immigration, urban development, employment and entrepreneurship, early childhood supports, and education. www.centuryinitiative.ca.

Contact: Samantha Thompson

Phone: (613) 790-4555

Email:  samanthathompson.r@gmail.com