PPF President and CEO Edward Greenspon sat down with Barton for a Q&A session on stage at the Growth Summit. Here are some highlights of what the man from McKinsey had to say.

Dominic Barton at the Growth Summit.Photos by Martin Lipman

‘Inclusive growth is not like salt and pepper that you put on the meat.’

Inclusivity must be baked into any growth plan from the start, Barton argued.

‘I don’t believe in secular stagnation.’

Barton said it’s simply not helpful to think in terms of conditions where there is negligible economic growth for the long term.

‘We are very, very good at invention, at coming up with the ideas. What we’re not so good at is scaling the ideas.’

‘Infrastructure is the new fixed income.’

Responding to a question about broader participation in pensions, Barton suggested infrastructure could play a similar role in terms of attracting foreign investors hunting for stable returns.

‘People being displaced are not very happy, and rightly so.’

Automation will double the rate of job dislocation for the middle class over the next decade, Barton said, highlighting the need for proper retraining.

‘There’s nothing wrong with singling out key sectors.’

Barton said the act of highlighting key industry areas, as he suggested the government’s economic council is trying to do, is a natural avenue for unlocking growth.

‘If you’re not involved you’re just screaming into the wind.’

When discussing the politics of Canada-China relations, Barton said Ottawa cannot hope to influence Beijing without first building a commercial relationship.

‘Canada has actually a competitive advantage in Ag food compared to other countries.’

The country’s high-tech approach to agriculture and its abundant resources can give it an edge when competing globally, Barton said.

‘We should be a magnet for talent.’

Canada should look to its immigration system to try and attract the best and brightest, said Barton, while not forgetting about those adversely affected by the job market.

PPF President and CEO Ed Greenspon interviews Dominic Barton at the Growth Summit. Oct. 12, 2016.
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