The Left and the Right need to get out of their ideological comfort zones

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Taken from the Toronto Star...

CCPAOntario has an economic problem, which is leading to great social problems due to financial stress.  And no amount of rhetoric from the left or the right will change this.  What is required is for all stakeholders in our economy from educators, unions, investors, entrepreneurs and politicians to get together and develop practical solutions.

First step, as a service driven economy our education system needs to staffed with educators who have real world experience.   This has to start in high school.  Teachers should be in more intense training or job placements for the subjects they teach whether it be arts, sciences, business and technology.  Our students use smartphones and the interest, they can see through BS quickly – thus our educators must be on prepared with real work knowledge.

Second, the private sector must start telling the truth about the skills shortage.  I know first hand what it is like when you are unemployed and have the skills/experience for 90% of the jobs in your field.  However, it seems as if many companies are posting jobs just to fill their databases with resumes.      Even worse, we often see that a company will post a job, reject all candidates then within 2 months re post the same job again – and continue the cycle over and over again.  We need to stop the hype about skills shortages and ensure that the the shortage is REAL.   Sadly, too many Canadians are spending money on training courses only to remain unemployed. Good for training schools, bad for families.

Third, Ontario has to embrace trade more aggressively.   Recently on The Agenda, there had a a great discussion about foreign markets.   BRICS (Brazil, Russia, Indian, China, South Africa) and MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey).    Lawyer Mark Warner made the key point on the show when he stated “When entering an emerging market, businesses have to be prepared for the unexpected… it won’t be smooth, but the opportunities are there”.   Companies, investors and academic thought leaders have to embrace emerging markets more aggressively.   Export Development Bank of Canada can provide lots of support for companies entering these markets.

Fourth, Ontario has to start investing in the RIGHT sectors.   Yes, the Auto Sector is important to the economy.   However, the attitude of Ford Canada and UNIFOR towards the South Korean Free Trade Agreement is a concern.   While Ford USA embraced the deal, Ford Canada did not.   UNIFOR compared imports/exports of cars between Canada and South Korea as proof of this being a bad deal for Canada.   The focus instead should be about how Ontario plants can 1) Attract more investment from VW, BMW, Audi etc into Canada  2)  making cars that foreign markets would want.

While Ontario continues to invest money in the Auto Sector, even when they don’t want it.    – The information technology, entertainment, logistics and infrastructure sectors do not get enough attention.   Ontario needs to focus more funds on industries that will lead to great exports for our companies.

In Ontario, we are no longer a manufacturing hot bed.  Tim Hudak has a plan however it sounds more rhetorical than practical.  Premier Wynne, speaks in platitudes and Andrea Horvarth doesn’t give us much detail.

The left and the right need to stop sitting in their ideological comfort zones and start focusing on practical solutions to our economic problems.   While both sides continue their rhetoric, way too many Ontario families continue to struggle.   Stop the noise and start getting to work!

blog post by Radcliffe Dockery

 

BMW’s 2 Series, confusing or the right move?

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BMW has announced the 4 Series, which is really the 3 series coupe.  The 3 Series sedan stays on but some BMW enthusiast are concerned about these changes.   There are a lot of smart people working for BMW who must know what they are doing.

However the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer does make me wonder, WHAT ARE THEY DOING?  I know that Mercedes has the “B” Class, however as a BMW fan boy – seeing them introduce this model is quiet depressing.

bmw-2-series-active-tourer-011-750x498Time will tell. I will visit a dealership to take a look at some of the new BMW Models.

Blog by Radcliffe Dockery

Apple may have considered buying Tesla, but why?

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According to an array of reports today, Apple may have considered buying Telsa.

Interesting to say the least.  Not sure why Apple would even be interested in Telsa.   I could see some joint venture work in the areas of mobile music, data etc.   But this would be way outside of Apple’s core competency.   Instead, I believe it would make more sense for Apple to go after Panasonic or Sony.   It would provide them with more weapons to combat Samsung in the Consumer Electronics space.

What do you think?  Does a marriage between Telsa and Apple make sense?

tesla-model-s-side-small

 

 

blog by Radcliffe Dockery

Chinese students love luxury cars, What about students in N. America?

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(Photo: Clayton Cotterell | Bloomberg Businessweek)

(Photo: Clayton Cotterell | Bloomberg Businessweek)

Interesting article posted by Yahoo Business surrounding Chinese students and Luxury cars!  Where is North America there is concern about young people buying cars, we are seeing the opposite in China where luxury brands such as Audi, Mercedes Benz,BMW surge.

China’s economic growth over the past 10 years has certainly contributed to this.   This leaves us with some challenges in North America:

A)  How do we ensure auto sector demand among young people with such high rates of Youth Unemployment?

B)  How do we justify continued government backed loans, grants in a sector that is facing a generation that is not interested in cars?

C)  What can jurisdictions in North America do to attract more investment from luxury auto brands?

Quick Primer about what the auto sector means to the Province of Ontario, http://www.investinontario.com/en/Pages/OS_automotive.aspx