Mar 30, 2021
The Ontario government hosted the inaugural True North Free Trade Forum on March 30-31, 2021, bringing together more than 900 participants from across the country to exchange ideas and explore new business opportunities. Held in partnership with Canadian provinces and territories, the forum provided a unique opportunity for participants to hear from business and industry experts on practical ways to help Canadian business recover by working together.
Aimed at strengthening business ties across Canada to support economic recovery, the forum looked at the challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how increasing pan-Canadian trade could add up to $84 billion to Canada’s GDP.
Osler Special Advisor Stephen Poloz was the keynote speaker at the forum and shared his thoughts on how Canada can work to build a resilient post-COVID-19 Canadian economy. During his remarks, Stephen touched on a wide range of topics, including the history of Canada’s trade agreements with the United States and Britain and the movement of goods and services within our country, the benefits of interprovincial trade, how dismantling interprovincial trade barriers would support provincial and personal income gains and benefit the economy, and what would happen if we completely liberalized our international trade rules.
Stephen also discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our economies and societies and how the Canadian economy should be able to shake off the effects of the pandemic. He also shared his thoughts on the increase in public debt that has surfaced as a side-effect of the pandemic and how it can be paid off. As well, Stephen offered suggestions for governments to support economic growth in a post-pandemic world, including recreating a free trade zone, encouraging companies to invest in Canada’s future and investing heavily in productive infrastructure.
Read Stephen Poloz’s keynote remarks