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What is Canada's Brand Wrapped In?

The new economy is very different.

Much will occur in the clouds versus physical supply chains. Subscription will be the new store and there will be a great divide between those who can work remotely and those who can't. Organizations that compete for this talent will offer remote working and pay international wages versus those previously set within a border.

To sustain property values, infrastructure, health care and education cities and countries will need to also compete for talent. It will be a great war and one fought with quality and affordability of life.

Five years ago I could argue that Canada's brand was magnetic. We could attract and retain the world's best students and workers. Canada fulfilled all the needs of Maslow. 'Safety and security' - we shared a border with America and had an abundance of affordable food, water, education, healthcare and energy. 'Belonging' we were tolerant and a beautiful place to raise a family. 'Purpose' we had jobs and opportunities, and 'Actualization' we had our natural beauty and freedom.

Now, I am not so sure. If the best talent can work remotely then climate, time zone compatibility, quality of the internet and affordability will be their key criteria. They will rebalance their priorities from where must I move to get a job, to where do I, and my family, want to live, grow, play and prosper?

Canadian Universities rely on International students as does our country to feed our immigration. The pandemic is changing education, as is the talent war. More organizations will recruit talent globally and through online assessment even at the high school level. They will be fast-tracked on their path with curated courses, co-op placement and study environments. Many will bypass the need for expensive degrees with no guarantees Top universities will survive because of their cache and ability to attract research but the next level will need to reinvent and guarantee a great learning experience and even a job if they are to remain viable.

Canada's infrastructure. We have so much bureaucracy, red tape and waste so much tax dollars building and running things that we pile on insurmountable debt. This can only be paid back by having runaway inflation, raising taxes or cutting benefits. We either have to become more efficient or recognize that the cost of living in Canada will shift from being magnetic to becoming opposing magnets.

And finally the tiebreaker, the values that wrap around our hearts. Canada is tolerant, we have great values, nature, we are a democracy with all the freedoms and rights that come with it. We don't have the hate and anger and dividedness that permeate in other countries. Does this still all hold true?

Is it too late? Absolutely not. There isn't a better country to set up for future success, attract the best of the best. We must be willing to reinvent and reimagine, by being stronger and better together.


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