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Growth council’s new tasks: unlock business spending, broaden job skills help

Plans include help for skills to address rapidly transforming workforce needs.


OTTAWA — The Trudeau government’s influential team of economic advisers is pursuing solutions to an issue that has preoccupied policy-makers for years, how to open the spigot on business investment.

The chair of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s growth council said the group’s next report, due this fall, will outline ways to encourage more business investment with the aim of reversing several years of decline.

Dominic Barton says the council is also working to build upon past recommendations on how to ensure Canadians acquire the skills needed for the rapidly transforming needs of the country’s workforce.

Barton, the global managing partner of consulting giant McKinsey & Co., says this time the advisers will focus on a plan to help higher-skilled workers who, like lower-skilled workers, face the possibility of losing their jobs in the future because of factors such as automation.

Since its creation last year, the council’s advice has played a key role in the development of government policy.

Barton says the group will also weigh the potential impacts on Canadian business investment from the Trump administration’s plans for trade and corporate taxation, however, he’s reluctant to share some of the council’s possible solutions, since it’s still early in the process.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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