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THERE HAS NEVER been a better time to be Canadian.
Donald Trump’s presidency has rocked the world’s confidence in the United States. Brexit has left the United Kingdom in a state of limbo. There is no question that our world is shifting. Tumultuous political change and global risk is all around us. The most stable and respected democracies in the world have been shaken.
In a world filled with uncertainty, Canada, at least for the time being, appears to be an outlier.
Canada offers a welcoming business environment, one that makes it, according to Forbes Magazine, the second-best country in the G20 in which to do business. Over the past decade, Canada’s growth numbers lead the G7. It offers assured preferential access to over half the world’s output of goods and services. Low business tax costs, a competitive R&D environment, and a banking system the World Economic Forum believes to be the soundest in the world undoubtedly make Canada the best country in which to invest and innovate.
Our hospitals, universities and social services are modern and accessible.
It is indisputably cool to be Canadian. We are no longer known only for hockey, cheap beer and apologies. Instead, we are considered compassionate, collaborative, humorous, musical, stylish and pragmatic. Canadian ex-pats all over the world are proud of where they’re from.
Compare this with the situation with our neighbour to the south. The New York Times has said that Americans should be forgiven for looking northward with yearning. This is a first.
All of that said, we are not without our own challenges. In particular, Indigenous communities across this country are suffering. I am hopeful that the government and civil society at large will work to find positive solutions with Indigenous communities, to clear a path forward.
This issue of Perspectives looks at how business and other segments of society can take advantage of Canada’s new place on the world stage. We look at the evolution of our country’s brand, take stock of our regional differences, delve into how we are perceived internationally, and shed light on some of the opportunities we see on the horizon.
Remember: fads, trends and successes are transitory. We are not immune to global challenges, and our domestic circumstances could change in the blink of an eye. We do not know the time horizon on this period of success, but what we do know is that now is Canada’s time and, therefore, the time to take advantage of it is now.