We are pleased to present our report, Ontario in the Creative Age. In the 2008 Ontario Budget, Premier McGuinty asked us to “undertake a study of the changing composition of Ontario’s economy and workforce” and to “examine historical changes and projected future trends affecting Ontario.” Our task was to “provide recommendations to the Province on how to ensure Ontario’s economy and people remain globally competitive and prosperous.”
To do so, we launched a major new research and data collection effort at the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity to develop new and comparable statistics on workforce trends and skills for Ontario, its major cities and towns, and other leading jurisdictions in North America. We also commissioned a wide range of studies from leading scholars and researchers in Ontario and abroad.
Our findings convince us that Ontario is well-positioned to compete and prosper in this ongoing global economic transformation. While the economic environment has worsened since this project was commissioned, the current upheaval only accentuates these trends – especially the shift from more routine-oriented to creativity-oriented jobs that place a premium on analytical and social intelligence skills.
Such change is inexorable. We cannot turn away from it; nor can we slow it. We face a critical inflection point. Ontario has tremendous advantages on which to build broad, sustainable prosperity. We have a highly skilled work force, world leading businesses and industries, excellent post secondary institutions, great cities and regions, and a culture that values openness, diversity, and social cohesion. But we can become stronger and more competitive.