Forgot your account information?  |  Create a CME account

Technology gap leaves Canadians poorer

Published by Steve Coleman on November 17, 2011

A new study says Canada's two-decade-long decision to not keep up with the Joneses hurt this country's standard of living.

A new Conference Board of Canada look at the effects of letting a low Canadian dollar carry the export market between 1988 and 2008 says a more prevalent focus on keeping technology current would have pumped billions of more dollars into the nation's economy.

The decision to not match the US, dollar for dollar, in increased productivity over 20 years would cost the country $8,500 in per capita GDP and $7,500 in personal disposable income. Corporate profits also would have been 40 per cent higher and government revenue would have increased 31 per cent had a bigger push on technology been made.

"Putting it plainly, increasing our productivity growth performance over the past two decades to equal that of our neighbour would have significantly increased Canadian wealth and improved our standard of living," Mario Lefebvre, Director, Centre for Municipal Studies said in a news release. "These results should impress upon policymakers, as well as average Canadians, just how vital it is for Canada to improve its productivity performance."

Using those same 2008 numbers, Americans had an average of $13,000 more in their pockets. Had Canada spent the money on technology, the Conference Board says the difference would have been less than $7,000.

It's not that Canadian workers are less ambitious or have less education, the Conference Board says. They didn't have the most up-to-date tools to do the job.

Found in: news

National Office

Alberta British Columbia
Manitoba New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador Nova Scotia
Ontario Québec
Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan