OTTAWA, Sept. 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Thirty prominent leaders from business, environmental, labour, social, youth and indigenous organizations across Canada – members of the Smart Prosperity Initiative and Circular Economy Leadership Coalition – are issuing the following statement:

“We applaud today’s release of six economic sector strategies. These reports chart a bold course for strengthening Canada’s competitiveness, to help us prosper in a changing world, while building a cleaner, more innovative economy across all sectors.

Many of the tables’ recommendations – particularly in the Clean Technology and the Resources of the Future reports – align with those in our Smart Prosperity Framework for Canada. We draw particular attention to the following goals and proposals:

Build agile regulatory systems that are more outcomes-driven, flexible, stringent, timely and predictable in order to attract investment, stimulate innovation, and achieve world-class environmental and economic performance.

Boost innovation across the economy by

  1. Supporting innovative networks to accelerate scale-up and adoption of advanced technologies (clean, digital) and solve grand challenges (like carbon reduction)
  2. Targeting fiscal support for advanced technology investment (clean, digital), including tax incentives (capital cost allowance, investor credits), and matching public funds to de-risk private investment
  3. Leveraging procurement to drive innovation across supply chains (clean, advanced technologies)
  4. Building a ‘circular economy’ that boosts resource efficiency, turns waste into value-added products (like bioplastics) and sustains natural capital

Invest in strategic infrastructure with long-term plans (resources, transport, energy, digital) to connect Canada to domestic and export markets and build a stronger, smarter, cleaner economy

Attract and train talent for a next generation, diverse workforce, through skills hubs, future-minded programs and education, and re-skilling workers affected by the transition

Target support for Indigenous businesses, workers and communities in all these programs

Use an ‘own-the-podium’ approach that provides focused support in key areas to scale up Canada’s highest-potential companies

Make Canada one of the global leaders in economic, innovation and environmental performance through these initiatives, and build that as a globally-recognized brand

We will provide further insights on these points in the near future, building on the in-depth analysis in our report on Accelerating Clean Innovation. We encourage the government to act on these recommendations, working with businesses and communities to further strengthen Canada’s competitiveness, spur the next generation of good jobs, meet our environmental commitments and build a better future for all Canadians.”

Signed by the following members of the Smart Prosperity Leaders Initiative:
Meredith Adler, Executive Director, Student Energy
Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey and Company
Ross Beaty, Chair, Pan American Silver Corp. and Equinox Gold Corp.
John Coyne, Vice President, Corporate Secretary and General Counsel, Unilever
Michael Crothers, President & Canada Country Chair, Shell Canada Limited
Arlene Dickinson, CEO, Venture Communications
Stewart Elgie*, Professor, University of Ottawa
Greg Kiessling, President, UpCapital Ltd; Founder, Bullfrog Power
John Lounds, President & CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada
Lorraine Mitchelmore*, Chair, Resources of the Future Economic Strategy Table
Ken Neumann, Canadian National Director, United Steelworkers
Merrell-Ann Phare, Founding Executive Director, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources
David Runnalls, Chair, Pembina Institute
Vicky Sharpe, Founding President, Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Jean Simard, President & CEO, Aluminium Association of Canada; Co-Founder, SWITCH
Marcia Smith, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs, Teck Resources
Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada
Rick Smith, Executive Director, Broadbent Institute
John Stackhouse, Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO, RBC
Kirsten Tisdale, Managing Partner, Government and Public Sector Advisory Services, Ernst&Young
Annette Verschuren OC*, Chair and CEO, NRStor; Former President, Home Depot Canada
Rob Wesseling, President & CEO, The Co-operators
* = Co-chair, Smart Prosperity Leaders Initiative

Signed by the following members of the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition:
John D. Coyne,** Vice President and General Counsel, Unilever Canada Inc.
Kevin Groh, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communication, Loblaw Companies Ltd.
David Hughes,** President & CEO of The Natural Step Canada
Rob Nicol, Vice President Corporate Affairs, Walmart Canada
Daniel Normandin, Executive Director Institut EDDEC
Heather Schoemaker, Director, National Zero Waste Council Secretariat
Brendan Seale, Head of Sustainability, IKEA Canada
Robert Walker, VP ESG, NEI Investments LP
Mike Wilson, Executive Director, Smart Prosperity Institute
** = Co-chair, Circular Economy Leadership Coalition

For media inquiries, please contact:
Jeremy Runnalls