Report out now

Building on the success of PPF’s April 2019 report A New North Star, PPF’s newest contribution to Canada’s economic conversation proposes an industrial plan to “rebuild Canada” post COVID-19.

A plan that should be starting not in two years, but in a few months.

This new research project will see Sean Speer and Robert Asselin reprise their roles as authors, synthesizers, and translators. CIBC Senior Economist Royce Mendes will join the authorship team to lend analytical expertise to the project. The team will solicit input from key thinkers and doers across the country through a series of closed roundtable discussions in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, with a report to launch on April 28. The conversation will continue at PPF’s annual Canada Growth Summit on October 15, 2020.

This research will focus on how the world is changing, and how long-held policy assumptions in Canada need to adjust accordingly. The Washington Consensus that has shaped domestic economic policies and global institutions in a laissez-faire mould for roughly 40 years is being challenged by two, new geo-economic realities that Canadian policymakers cannot afford to neglect. These geo-economic trends were occurring before the COVID-19 global pandemic. But the epochal crisis which began in earnest in late winter 2020 will only exacerbate and accelerate them.

The report is meant to help get out of the starting gates more quickly. It proposes to situate an industrial strategy at the intersection of Canada’s pre-existing economic strengths and its most pressing societal challenges.

For more information on the project, contact Andrée Loucks at

About the Authors

  • Sean Speer is currently Fellow in Residence and Prime Minister of Canada Fellow at the Public Policy Forum. He is also an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. He previously served as a senior economic adviser to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
  • Robert Asselin is a Fellow at the Public Policy Forum and at the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. He previously served as Director of Policy to Canada’s Finance Minister and Associate Director of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He is a former advisor to Prime Ministers Trudeau and Martin.
  • Royce Mendes is Executive Director and Senior Economist at CIBC Capital Markets, where he leads the group’s efforts in monitoring and forecasting the Canadian economy, a team judged to be the most accurate by both Reuters and Consensus Economics in 2018. Prior to joining CIBC, he held roles at the Bank of Canada as Portfolio Manager for Canada’s foreign reserves, Associate Editor for the Financial System Review publication and Principal Researcher in the Financial Markets Department.

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