VOLKER THOMSEN

Green Innovation

Green Innovation

Chapter Two

A Picture of Canada Enroute to Prosperity

Historic

In an ideal world, we are all focusing on doing the right thing at the right time.
I will therefore present a scenario in which Canada is in this ideal world and we are unhindered by the many objections and the ballast of perceptions that are considered to be reality.
If we were allowed today to do all that is needed to create the type of mental, spiritual and physical prosperity we can only imagine at present, we would need a “vision” to guide us. Canada in 2020 is one such vision.

Canada 2020

Canada in 2020 will be a nation of 40 million people with a multicultural society preserving and cherishing everybody’s ethnic background while at the same time embracing the gigantic opportunities of this millennium. Political will among the leaders of all parties will show the way to a Canada freed of the chains of our perceptions and inspired by the many opportunities ahead of us.
Federal-Provincial Policy on Education
Education will still be under provincial jurisdiction, but there will be a national Ministry of Education, which will be responsible for national policies and standards, including post-secondary education and training.
Former Ontario Premier, the Honourable Bob Rae, delivered his innovative review of post-secondary education in Ontario in January 2005.
Dalton McGuinty’s government, under the leadership of the Honourable Mary Anne V. Chambers, Minister of Training Colleges and Universities, and the Honourable Gerard Kennedy, Minister of Education, together reformulated the education and post-secondary education strategy for Ontario in record time before the end of 2005.
The needed changes in education were introduced. They created an historic moment of re-direction, which was just as significant as the foundation of the Ontario College System under the Honourable Bill Davis in the late sixties.
There will therefore be an emphasis on creating pathways according to the talents and abilities of the students and to the requirements of the labour market. There will be a multitude of directions for students, which will start as early as grade six. This will enable the students to get some credits for their future careers. There will be less time wasted and they will be ready for the labour market at an earlier age. Programs like the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) will be standard and include most professions, and in this way will introduce knowledge in a practical and meaningful way.
Fitness, physical education, diet, well-being and lifestyle will play a much larger role, starting at pre-birth and early childhood education. Programs in these areas will be as important as in academic and skills areas.
Transfers between the various forms of school, secondary schools and post-secondary colleges and universities will be structured by federal and provincial rules, which also will be ratified on an international level between countries or blocs by UN regulations.

Skills Training

Skills training will continue to be integrated in the provincial ministries of training colleges and universities. However there will be a much stronger focus on skills training and apprenticeships, including innovative apprenticeship programs embedded in a co-op diploma program. All of these areas, including some of the other post-secondary pathways, will be started at the school level and get full credit. Funding for university programs, college programs at the diploma and degree level, and college or other skills training, including the apprenticeship/co-op diploma program, will have shifted according to society’s needs. There will be an ongoing need to upgrade skills and expertise. Every credit received will be accepted as a building block and receive recognition. The public funding will grow dramatically for skills training, which will be the big winner.

Language

The language barriers and discrepancies of the young Canada will be left behind. There will be one national language. Ethnic groups will be encouraged to maintain their own culture and language. The school system and post-secondary education will in their program structures consider this, and even if the curriculum on a national level has mutual standards, the richness of each group and each area will be allowed to be embedded in it.
Even though there will be a national language, each province, and possibly strong groups within provinces, will be given the liberty to have a strong emphasis on their own language.


Health Care: Prevention a Great Success

Health care will have shifted the emphasis towards prevention.
In order to succeed with this new mandate, the national Ministry of Health will work closely together with the Ministry of Education. There will be strong support to prepare young parents for family planning and child rearing, focusing especially on the early years, which will ensure that children grow up healthier and happier than before.
Even if health care still has a tremendous clientele of people who because of their past unhealthy lifestyle place an increasing demand on the system, a shift in attitude, behaviour and lifestyle of a large group of the population will fairly quickly trigger a reversal of the situation.
It will soon start to relieve the public spending on health care. With every year of prevention there will be a corresponding increase in well-being and reduction in health care costs. My paper “Canada Eat and Live Smart,” included in this book, shows that the benefits and change in lifestyle and the subsequent annual reduction of one percent of the cost per year will soon lead to a tremendous improvement in health and well-being.
Furthermore, it will in the very few years from 2005 to 2015 have led to savings of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will be available for education and industrial innovation.

The Wellness Movement as a Dynamic
Economic Vehicle

The wellness movement, which has developed quietly below the surface for many years, is now slowly taking on a dimension that will dramatically change our world. I want to claim it will change for the better. The wellness growth will have two main dimensions, one focused on the actual improvement of our well being and the other directed towards economical opportunities.
Already today this segment of the economy in North America represents more than $220 billion of business, or roughly one sixth of our food consumption of $1.2 trillion, or one eight of the present $1.7 trillion drug sales. This is a stunning figure, but when we consider that drugs long ago surpassed food in sales, it is more understandable.
The 90 million North American baby boomers born in the period after World War II and before the early 1960s are giving a major boost to development. The older and more financially affluent and independent members of this group are becoming more and more wellness oriented and willing to invest substantially into their well-being, fitness and health. In Canada, we are talking about slightly less than 10 million baby boomers and more than $20 billion of business.
At a first glance this seems very high, but when we look at the many segments of this industry we can clearly see that we are just at the beginning.
Some segments of the health food industry:
• Vitamins
• Health foods
• Weight-loss products
• Nutritional supplements
• Fitness clubs
• Spas
• Fitness tourism
• Health-food restaurants
• Preventive medicine
• Wellness drugs for sexual drive, improved skin, etc.
• Cosmetic surgery
• And many more

The wish to stay healthy and fit, to be able to enjoy life in an active way, and the strong desire to stay young are all leading to a big shift in thinking.
In the past, retired people accepted their rapidly declining health and fitness. But the change in awareness, the easy access to information, and the many more examples of fit and healthy seniors create a dramatic demand for better and healthier products and services. Therefore the wellness industry will be a large part of the “industrial innovation” discussed in the next paragraph. If you are interested in more details of this remarkable development, I would recommend the book The Wellness Revolution: How to Make a Fortune in the Trillion Dollar Industry (Paul Zane Pilzer, published by Wiley, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.).

Industrial Innovation

Because Canadian political leaders at the beginning of this century led Canada in an innovative direction, in 2015 Canada will have caught up and be among the five leading countries in innovation and productivity. How will this come about?
Canada will embrace the kind of opportunities talked about in this book. A true renaissance will be created with aggressively forward-looking education, health care and investment strategy. Canada will be an innovative society leading the world in a new direction.


Research, Applied Research and Commercialization

This whole area will benefit greatly by the establishment of an “Agency for Innovation and Job Creation.” The huge amounts of capital that were primarily flowing into pure university research will be increased drastically but for a more pragmatic and regulated use, requiring research to be tied to applied research and commercialization.
Medium- and small-size companies will have similar opportunities as big corporations have, and universities and colleges will be on even terms to draw funding for their individual or joint research and development work.
This area will equally benefit from the reduction in health care costs once prevention starts to bring the turnaround, and the overall climate of innovation and job creation will direct funding to the areas where there is a need. Access will be easier and less bureaucratic but guided by strict rules of transparent accountability.


This turnaround will catapult Canada from being a world leader in research to becoming a world leader in innovative research, applied research and commercialization.

Innovative energy sources, transport systems, water conservation and waste-water management will be some of the cornerstones of the Canadian 2015 success story.
Fortunately, Paul Martin’s minority government, which started in the middle of 2004, will lead to a complete change in attitude within the House of Commons. Instead of continuing the never-ending fights within the parties, they will create an innovative strategy that will allow the opposition to contribute in a constructive way. Partnerships with the various parties will be formed according to the subject. A lot of new policies, regulations and laws will be created and passed with overwhelming support from all parties, both in parliament and in the senate.
The real breakthrough will come because the government in 2005 will create an “Agency for Innovation and Job Creation.” This agency will work directly within the prime minister’s office and will take a refreshing new approach. The prime minister will engage the leaders from all parties to participate in the creation of this agency, and each party will appoint its share of members on the agency’s board according to the ratio of seats in parliament. The parties will agree to appoint non-partisan professionals as external members of the board and one representative from each of the eleven involved ministries and the prime minister’s office. Furthermore, there will be one representative from each opposition party (three) and an independent president and CEO who also will be the ex officio member as board secretary (appointed by the Prime Minister). The outcome will be that a board, consisting of twenty-five top professionals from all spheres of society, will be able to create an independent vision and dynamic.

Board Structure of the “Agency of Innovation
and Job Creation”

Membership:
10 non-partisan professionals appointed by all parties according to their ratio of seats in the parliament
1 appointed by the Prime Minister
1 appointed by the Minister of Finance
1 appointed by the Minister of Education and Training
1 appointed by the Minister of Health
1 appointed by the Minister of Industry
1 appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources/Energy
1 appointed by the Minister of the Environment
1 appointed by the Minister of Infrastructure/Public Works
1 appointed by the Minister of Transportation
1 appointed by the Minister of Immigration and Human Resources
1 appointed by the Minister of Agriculture
3 appointed as representatives of the three opposition parties
1 Independent President and CEO appointed by the Prime Minister as Secretary of the Board
25 Total

This board will elect its own chair and vice-chair with membership limited to two terms of three years.

Canada as World Leader in Renewable Energy

Soon after the installation of the “Agency of Innovation and Job Creation,” the federal government, together with the provincial governments, will develop a national policy on energy.
This very entrepreneurial policy will allow, without further hurdles, the brisk introduction of a Canadian Standard for Energy. Once the national policy and standards are introduced, there will not be any more interference. There will be speedy development of most renewable energy resources.
Subsidies will be eliminated as it becomes apparent that the high environmental standards for all energies make subsidies obsolete. This will quickly enable most of the alternative clean energies to compete. Once the high standards on emissions are in place, coal and gas will become more expensive than wind or solar energy. The drastic reduction of production costs for solar photo voltaic panels (PV) will contribute to this. Between 2007 and 2010, the cost for one PV unit will gradually fall below one dollar, putting solar power energy generation through PV on even footing with traditional powers and wind power for the first time. Solar power will create tremendous additional commercial opportunities when the installation of independent systems for household and commercial use becomes popular and even the standard for any new construction.
Another breakthrough in fuel-cell technology will enable a conversion of solar power or wind power into stored power and in this way eliminate the handicap of power production interruption caused by periods without sun or wind.
Because Canada creates more than 50 percent of its energy out of hydro and because of many additional evolving opportunities in biomass, geothermal, wave energy and landfill gas, Canada will in 2020 become the first nation on Earth to generate all its electricity out of renewable resources. The annual OECD published ranking will for the first time show Canada at the top and will include an analysis of what triggered Canada’s stunning success. It will be obvious that the shift to conservation and sustainable energy will have created an enormous boost to the economy and inspired an innovative investment climate. The analysis will also indicate that by focusing on improving lifestyle and introducing preventative holistic health care in conjunction with an inclusive education and training agenda, Canada’s tremendous potential will be fully utilized.
Innovative transportation systems and lightweight, low consumption, electric and fuel-cell-driven cars designed and built in Canada will have a great impact. Because of the high cost and/or risk, oil, gas and atomic energies will all be phased out of electricity production between 2010 and 2020.

Innovative Rail, Road and Transport Systems Will Help Canada to Overcome the Great Distances

The opening of the “Agency of Innovation and Job Creation” in 2005 and its overarching mandate and power will create the ability to launch high-profile policies and programs among ministries and parties without the normal lengthy bureaucratic and parliamentarian hurdles.
Due to our nation’s size and low population density except for a few exploding urban areas, transportation and communication play a much more significant role than in most other countries. As at Canada’s beginning as a nation at the end of the 19th century, when first the steam train and ships and later the automobile opened up our huge country, the innovation strategy will open new horizons within public and private transportation. To link rural and urban areas and to develop more efficient and reliable means of transportation, the new agency will early on put a focus on overcoming the particular challenges of densely populated urban areas.
Having sufficient electrical energy available, a plan will be developed to install a magnetic monorail system linking all major centres and subsystems of regional and local magnetic monorails and conventional electrical systems within the country and within urban areas. Canadian and overseas companies and entrepreneurs will improve and convert the traditional two-rail system to electricity and redesign the new magnetic monorail system to fit the Canadian climate and conditions. The already existing rail manufacturing industry will go into joint ventures for the manufacturing of these innovate systems. The expansion will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. It will be possible to install a first net of magnetic monorail trains along the main Trans-Canada Highway corridors from coast to coast before 2015. It will be relatively easy to use the middle section of the Trans-Canada Highway as the ideal, readily available space for a two-way track. The same middle section, which for 80 percent of the Trans-Canada runs from east to west, can ideally be used to install south-facing solar voltaic panels, utilizing the same space to produce huge quantities of electricity. The first corridor, between Windsor, Ontario, and Quebec City, will be opened by 2010. The Metro Toronto downtown area and Toronto Airport will be linked to this corridor at the same time. This will bring a tremendous relief to the public transit system in the GTA.
Imagine that the non-stop trip from Toronto to Montreal takes less than one and a half hours. Even station stops can be done without a big time loss, because it only takes three minutes, or nine kilometres, to get back up to 430 kilometres per hour. The very successful Transrapid started its operation between Shanghai Long Yang Station and Pudong International Airport on December 31, 2003, and as of July 3, 2004, had already transported more than one million passengers. The thirty-kilometre track is travelled at a regular service speed of 430 kilometres per hour and has achieved the world record for top speed for commercial trains of 501 kilometres per hour. The distance between Toronto Airport and Union station will be travelled in less than six minutes.

The Superspeed Transrapid Maglev system has neither wheels nor axles nor gearing. It does not drive—it hovers without touching the guideway, with no friction or wear. Electronics replace mechanical parts. The function of wheel-on-rail—i.e., support and guidance, propulsion and braking—are taken over by an electromagnetic levitation and propulsion system. Transrapid works contact-free. Heavy snowfall in the winter initially created some challenges for this system, but changes in the design of the monorail makes it much easier to keep the tracks free of snow and ice than with a traditional rail system.

This thirty-year-old, proven, innovative and yet simple technology will propel Canada to become the most transport efficient country in the world within less than two decades. The boost to the Canadian economy will be of such a magnitude that Canada will become the preferred place for international investments. The economic dynamic will remind us of the boom created by early industrialization and linking the country by train in the nineteenth century.


Shipping on the Water Is Still a Viable Option

Because of the convenience of the automobile and the airplane, North American society has to a large extent forgotten that there still are many train corridors and shipping routes available as a very viable option to move goods and passengers at a much better rate and with much less pollution. As the picture below indicates, a single middle-sized freighter can carry the load of 870 trucks. A single traditional freight train can handle up to a few hundred truckloads.

To relieve our congested highway system, it is time that we consider using this type of shipping to a much larger extent. Combined with the envisioned innovative “Transrapid” system (primarily for passengers), it could easily relieve our highways by up to 50 percent and this way undo disastrous traffic congestion, particularly in all urban areas.

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System has a high-quality infrastructure that easily can handle a doubling of the traffic without the need of investing one single penny. Last year 41 million tons were shipped through the St. Lawrence Seaway, but the capacity is between 80 and 100 million tons (www.hwyh20.com). By increasing the volume the cost could even be reduced and the turnaround time and schedules could be improved drastically. The environmental impact would be very positive. When we look at the comparative index that follows, we can see how favourable marine or rail transportation is .
(See http://www.st-laurent.org for details.)

In Central European countries like the Benelux (Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) and Germany, inland shipping by boat has over the years increased dramatically and is many times the size of the North American volume. The volume of goods and passengers shipped by train in all European countries is more than fifty times bigger.

Industrial Innovation in Combination with the Overall Renewal Makes Canada World Leader in Productivity and Innovation

An innovative and economic dynamic business climate will create synergies that lead to the establishment of many additional activities. It will also attract a massive influx of entrepreneurial and creative people. Dr. Richard Florida’s book The Rise of the Creative Class indicates what will be needed for Canada to attract the doers, makers and shakers. It is very interesting to learn about the shift from a traditional agricultural society to a traditional industrial society, followed by a takeover by the creative society that today represents more than 30 percent of the population.
Canada will not only attract the creative class from countries around the globe; it will also mobilize the tremendous potential in the people from within.


Lightweight Electrical Cars

Under these circumstances it will not take long for Canada’s car and car parts manufacturing industry to venture into new directions. The tremendously efficient public transport system soon will encourage travellers to use their own vehicles only when needed for short distances outside the public system. This will create the need for small, light cars low in consumption and easy to park. Even if people in the less developed countryside keep a market for SUVs going, these cars will change dramatically into elegant, lightweight hybrids powered by electricity, ethanol and fuel cells, etc.
With all the technology evolving out of the renewable energy sector matched with diverse expertise, particularly in car-parts production, a new dimension in lightweight cars with various alternative engines will be developed, including fuel cell technology. They will be successfully launched on the North American home market and soon also on the world market, where in spite of tough competition they will conquer interesting market shares.
Mini lightweight-car rental depots at airports, train stations and bus stations, with hassle-free self-service and immediate, around-the-clock access, will reduce the number of private cars and create a very flexible and mobile society with pollution-free trains and cars.
Because of the efficient public overland transport, air transportation will be reduced and used only for long-distance travel, beyond a thousand kilometres. The airports will be converted to combined air, bus and train stations, and the space that will be freed because of the huge reduction in flights may be converted into distributions centres for products that are going to be moved in standardized containers from planes to trains or trucks. A large part of the transportation of goods within the populated areas will move away from the traditional trucking system to a highly efficient lightweight container system, which will move around the country on computer controlled trains. In case of rural or ocean destinations the same container system will be integrated into traditional rail, trucking and ocean and seaway shipping systems all based on one universal module.
Various standardized modules will mean a very flexible shipping and transportation system. Three of the smallest modules will fit into a twenty-foot ocean container (six in a forty-foot unit). Two of the middle-size modules will fit into a twenty-foot container and four into a forty-foot unit. The next size will be a twenty-foot unit, which will be a modernized version of the twenty-foot ocean container. The same technique will be applied to the twenty-foot container.
With this system, shipping on a national level will be fully automated and computer steered, allowing the modules to travel from place of shipping to destination without being touched by human hands, at a speed that enables trans-Canada transfers of module-sized goods within less than two days, at a cost lower than conventional trucking.


Environmental Strategies

At first it will require a great effort and huge investment to move away from environmentally unfriendly technologies developed during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But the savings of energy, the gain in efficiency and in comfort, soon will make society take the new way of life for granted. Environmental strategies focused on creating clean air and clean water will present unlimited opportunities for creative industrial development and user-friendly energy-efficient homes and buildings.
The development of renewable energy as the main source of electricity, the new means of transport, much better designed homes and buildings with excellent insulation and design, much improved water and waste-water management and organic farming, all by themselves without too many additional measures, will turn things around. The environment will almost instantly change for the better through the immense improvements after generations of abuse. Real forest management can be implemented, and a ban on most pesticides will start to show its first positive effects.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which early on promoted energy-efficient houses, will together with industry and architects develop house-building systems that are easy to assemble and to integrate in any part of Canada, utilizing the sun and other components like earth pumps to make the houses self-sufficient and low in water consumption (see innovative ideas at www.cmhc.ca). There are already many energy-efficient homes, small and large, on the market. One owner of a big, self-sufficient home has created a Web page, www.solarhouse.com, and is willing to share his experience.
Because of the much more holistic approach in all areas of life, nature will automatically be much less burdened, and the environmental rules and strategies will be accepted as sensible regulations and happily followed by most people.


Conserving Water and Waste-Water Management

Canada has between 25 and 30 percent of the freshwater of the world. Yet the industrialization, intensive farming, urbanization and pollution will put such a dramatic burden on Canadian drinking water that many bodies of water will lose their natural balance and become sour, over nourished or dead. This will result in an ironic situation that will make it necessary to chlorinate drinking water even more in most of Canada. Because of a lack of properly trained people or quality equipment, many places chlorinate heavily just to make sure that nobody will get an infection. We should consider that chlorine is a very dangerous poison and over-chlorinating water will affect people’s health and ultimately add another burden on Mother Nature. Because of this, billions of bottles of water are being produced annually. Various factors like production and transport create another burden on the environment. It really was, and is, a vicious circle. It would have been better to keep a clean supply of water in the first place.
With a focus on conserving energy, water and all of our resources, the Canadian Renewal will create new, better and less wasteful ways. Drinking water will be treated as a treasured resource that is not wasted through leaking pipes or wasteful toilets, etc. The huge quantities of fresh water used in farming, manufacturing and for moving waste water out of homes will be reduced drastically through improved methods with much less loss. The overall environmentally-friendly behaviour will also have a large impact on water levels and quality.
Around 2015, for the first time in more than a hundred years, the water quality will in a natural way dramatically improve. It will be standard to separate drinking and household water from waste-water use and, because of excellent economical filters and reverse osmosis systems that will be standard in every home, drinking water will again be of very good quality. Water used for washing will be regenerated by mini filters, reverse osmosis or organic septic systems and utilized for toilet flushing or similar things. Biodegradable detergent, soaps and cleaners will be standard. Many new developments in sewage processing or utilization in form of mini bio reactors in homes and commercial buildings will help immensely and create an additional industrial boom, which will add to the prosperity of Canadian society.
Innovative vacuum toilet systems hardly use any water; the dryer sewage will, together with any other organic waste, be utilized and through a bio reactor converted into energy or compost, and the separated clean water will be recirculated for toilet flushing.
Lakes and rivers that were polluted will gradually regain their balance. The fish stocks will revive, and swimming in these waters will be safe again.
New Canadian Organic Agriculture Beats Traditional Methods
The gradual changeover to organic farming will bring a revival of smaller farm units across the country. These farms will again be economical and competitive, because of technical improvements but foremost because of a big shift in supply and demand all across North America and even across the world. Just like in Canada, the demand for organic produce, fruit and grain will increase dramatically in the U.S.A. as well as in the rest of the world. Therefore more and more consumers demand homegrown products from their direct neighbourhood. Once the small farm units show a financial viability, a lot of former farmers or descendents of farmers will move back to the countryside. This will also be encouraged by the much-improved transportation and communication systems that will link people to the cities in a comfortable way.
During the winter months, farmers can concentrate their production in hothouses, fuelled by a combination of solar, wind, ground pumps, bio mass and fuel cell technology. Canadian farming will attract a lot of city people and a lot of private people, including retirees who are starting small efficient greenhouses in conjunction with their energy-self-sufficient homes. Their produce is either for home consumption, for sale on a small local scale or for free distribution among friends and relatives.


Wellness as a Big Part of the Industrial Innovation

Many of the changes I have dealt with in the Canada 2020 Vision will automatically improve peoples’ well-being and quality of life. At the same time there will be an increased demand on wellness services and products that will lead to the strong expansion of the whole wellness industry.
The stronger focus on prevention will at the same time create a stronger desire to further improve health and well-being. The medical profession so accustomed to dealing only with fixing sickness will quickly adapt to the changes and begin to fully endorse and become part of the modern preventative and wellness society.
The boost to the Canadian wellness industry in combination with the overall innovative initiatives in all fields will give the long awaited spiritual and economical renewal Canadians are longing for.


Revised Immigration Policy Helps Canada’s Prosperity

When the “Innovation and Job Creation” agency starts its work in 2005, one of its first tasks will be to create inner-ministerial co-operation between HRSD, Immigration, Industry Canada and the Ministry of Education and Training. Together they will create a flexible federal system in conjunction with their provincial counterparts. This flexible immigration policy will be applied to the actual needs on the labour market and adjusted continuously, just like in the old days.
This flexibility combined with the extraordinary industrious and prosperous climate in Canada will attract a lot of ambitious young people from around the world, including trades people and high-calibre entrepreneurs and investors. Because of this, Canada’s growth will be supported and capital will be available in abundance. It will further create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and reduce unemployment to the point that huge amounts of money out of the unemployment insurance funds and reserves will be available for the capital market. The impact will also reverse the situation for the pension plans that before were starting to suffer badly from a decline of younger people and will also avoid an otherwise predicted necessary bailout of most of the pension funds.

Canadian Way of Life—A Quality Way of Life with New Economic Values

Around 2008, new policies and income tax rules around wealth building, pension plans and co-ownership in private and public companies will be put in place. They will encourage companies to recruit their employees as shareholders with favourable conditions for both sides. It will be mandatory that compensation received out of this be reinvested into the company towards growth or stability. Companies with an employee shareholding of more than 50 percent will receive tax preferential treatment that further helps the company to prosper. Again, the compensation will have to be applied for growth and wealth building of the corporation and its shareholders.
In 2020 Canada will be a vibrant country with a thriving economy full of optimism and endorsing a model of co-operation between governments at all levels, employers, management and employees. Just as in management, the unions will have changed
their position and their approach to a joint position, full of support for each other’s needs.
Because of a thriving economy and a lean public service, the public sector will benefit dramatically. Particularly, the change in health care to prevention and the following drastic reduction in health care costs will free capital that will allow education, post-secondary education and training to be funded properly. And there will be sufficient government funding available for infrastructure of any kind.
Many companies will have their employees as majority shareholders and union representatives actually change to become shareholder representatives. This new scenario will over time influence other world markets, in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and U.S.A. More and more countries will switch to the Canadian model of modern socio-capital sharing, and most public companies, even in markets outside the countries that endorse this model, will align themselves with the new thinking.
The U.S.A. will initially struggle with this model. However, after several states move successfully in this direction, the Canadian way of life will become more and more the U.S.A. way of life. This will evolve over many years and slowly but drastically change people’s behaviour.
Because of employees’ lifelong shareholdings in “their” companies, the stock exchanges and market’s importance will also shift to be more of a registration place and less a place of speculation. The markets will still be flowing freely; however, the majority of the shares will be in the hands of loyal shareholders/employees, who are not inclined to gamble with their holdings. This automatically makes the movements of the markets much more smooth and controlled.
The scenario I have created may be considered wishful thinking by some people, too ambitious by others, and not radical enough by still others. I am convinced it could be a possible picture of our future if our politicians will show leadership and vision. We have come out of the Stone Age; the oil age is coming to an end and it is up to us to determine which way we are going next. Why not endorse a Canadian direction that will allow us to dream our own destiny and create a legacy we proudly can leave behind for our children.