We live in a time of economic turbulence that is quickly escalating to the point of throwing the global economy into a recession. As tension between the United States and China continues to tighten and countries adopt the “me first” strategy, trade between nations is moving to the point of conflict. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that trade war on a massive scale is inevitable. As we continue to watch to see where this is headed, the Canadian Government Executive team decided to build this edition around trade.
In January of this year, the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance hosted a distinguished panel discussion on Canada and the 2019 Trade Climate, featuring the Honourable Darrell Dexter, Maryscott Greenwood, the Honourable Pierre Pettigrew, and Colin Robertson. The panel delved into the state of trade relations between Canada, the United States, the European Union, and China. Where does Canada stand on the new NAFTA; China, the next biggest economy in the world; trade with the E.U. and the turmoil of Brexit; and the future of global trade. Be sure to read this abridged version on the panel discussion to gain some insights as to what’s happening in trade today and where it is all leading.
In his article, “Growing Canadian exports by growing our management skills,” Ed Bernacki addresses the question about what’s hindering Canadian companies from creating more profitable products and services. He writes that while focusing on STEM skills is necessary, what we lack is sufficient skills for innovation management.
Deputy editor of CGE Lori Turnbull writes about how the 1988 general election is remembered as a referendum on the proposed Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Fast forward 30 years and we see Canada facing the same issue. But what is different today is that the relationship between the current leaders of the United States and Canada is less amicable. To add strain to an already strained relationship, President Trump is critical of the NAFTA agreement, whereas back in 1988, President Reagan was willing to work at finding a solution with Prime Minister Mulroney for the trade deal. With the changing global landscape and other nations and trade blocs rising, Canada has the opportunity to increase trade with these global players. But how is the current government faring? This will be top of mind for Canadians as they prepare to cast their votes in another general election this fall.
John Glowacki, a former COO of Shared Services Canada and a regular contributor to CGE, returns in this issue with piece on partnerships and how they can help reduce risk in the Government of Canada’s digitization process. According to Glowacki, to make progress as a leader in this area, the government and public service need to fully embrace and leverage their partners in industry.
We are excited to announce, commencing in this issue, a new section called the Millennial Outlook. This section will feature students and young professionals in public sector sharing issues they are dealing with to help us anticipate what the future of public service will be like. John Wilkins, an associate of public management at York University and a career senior public servant and diplomat, introduces this section in this issue. We hope that you will take the time to read the insightful articles that followed his piece. If you would like to contribute a piece for this section in the future, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for taking the time to read this issue.