With a federal election just around the corner, Canada is experiencing weakest GDP growth in almost 17 years.  The deteriorating health of the Canadian economy is reflected in recent polls, in which Canadians now rank the economy ahead of health care and the environment as their chief concern.

“For too long, we allowed high commodity prices to make us feel wealthy,” says Glen Hodgson, chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada. “In a perfect world, we’d have an election campaign that debated how to improve our lagging productivity, which any economist will tell you is the key to sustainable prosperity.”

According to Anne Golden, President of the Conference Board of Canada, steps that are needed to ensure sustainable prosperity include:  enhanced labour mobility, a credentialing system that more rapidly integrates skilled newcomers, along with measures to improve health care.

I think that the key to turn around the economy is to enhance labour mobility by investing in R&D and scientific innovation.  Investment dollars need to be spent to encourage students to pursue advanced studies in engineering, physics, and math, because these are the fields of studies that are pre-requisites to scientific innovation.