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

 

State of Black Canadians – Facts vs. Fiction!

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The Black Community in Canada is vibrant and growing!    In 2013, a group of some of the best black minds in Canada came together to put gather statistics about Black Canada.   One of the most interesting statistics destroys the stereotypes that Blacks are “dependent” on Government.   Below are some highlights from the report.

T1888571_513005795481101_2089841211_nTaken from the Report Titled, “Toward a Vision for the Black Community”

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

Rob Ford vs. VMWARE – What happened to our balance?

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Mayor Rob Ford continues to provide great material for late night talk show hosts.   Another video, another rant.  This time the Mayor attempts to invoke my Ancestors by practicing Jamaica Patois.  I just watched the midday news and every second word was “Ford” or “Jamaican”.  While it is fair to cover this story and posts an array of photo memes of Rob Ford, we have to remember that the world keeps on spinning. vmware-large-logoToday, software cloud vendor VMWare announced that they are purchasing mobile security company Airwatch for $1.54B US.   This does have implications as it relates to jobs in Canada – in particular in Southern Ontario.   BlackBerry is beginning the process of transforming itself into a true mobile security cloud vendor.   If BlackBerry succeeds, we may see solid job growth for the company again.  Also note that these are high paying jobs, that will benefit everyone directly or indirectly.  Let’s see how the media applies what seems to be an only a ‘business story’ to its potential impact on our communities.

So what’s my point?

Maybe the debate should be about how a Mayors behaviour impacts the ability of a city or region to attract investment from a firm like VMWare.   And to be honest, we are seeing some of dialogue via social media.

While the Rob Ford story is interesting and does deserve some media attention, we also can not lose focus on the core issues facing many today.   The VMWare could be great news for companies like SOTI – based in Mississauga.

I am not asking for anyone to avoid or downplay the Ford story.   What I am asking is for more of us to maintain balance and remember, the world keeps on turning!   Because end of the day, “A su life gwan”  *Translation – “That is how life may go at times”.  🙂

Blog post by Radcliffe Dockery

Mayoral mischief: Canada’s growing cities face a problem of oversight

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Mayoral mischief: Canada’s growing cities face a problem of oversight

Article by Dakshana Bascaramurty speaking to the lack of transparency and increasing mistrust of municipal officials in Ontario.  Can we say term limits and a complete overhaul of the Ontario Municipal Act?  Tax payers are being fleeced and the Provincial Government needs to take action NOW!