Time for a new, exciting, overarching idea.

Canada needs to put an end to a decades-long period of policy zombie-ism with a renewed commitment to a coherent set of policy ideas capable of galvanizing the country, inspiring public confidence and forging an overarching policy consensus between left and right.

A new report published by the Public Policy Forum — authored by Edward Greenspon, PPF President and CEO, and Sean Speer, PPF Scotiabank Fellow in Strategic Competitiveness — argues that the answer lies in a massive supply-side rebuild. The report calls for huge, game-changing public and private investment in physical and intangible assets and human capital that would shift the weight of economic policy away from the demand side of the famous supply-demand equation.

The authors argue that it’s time to become ambitious builders again, as we were in the two decades following the Second World War. They acknowledge this will be an enormous task, akin to the expansion of rural electrification in the 1930s and 1940s or the overlapping 1950s and 1960s construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway, Trans-Canada Highway and TransCanada Pipeline.

If Canada is going to confront today’s challenges and seize tomorrow’s opportunities, the report argues, we need to build things and nurture talent, increasing the supply of everything from housing to hydrogen, from IP to ICUs, from quantum computing to the next mRNA, from long-term investments in critical minerals to longer-term investments in human capital.

We need to increase the supply of things, ideas and people, too — the programmers, scientists, welders, teachers, nurses and countless others on whose backs and brains a modern economy thrives.

The Urgent Case for a Supply Rebuild

Investing in a New Economic Compact for Canada

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