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New Report from BCG’s Centre for Canada’s Future Outlines Critical Actions for Canadian Leaders to Drive Canada’s Postpandemic Recovery

The Centre’s Trillion-Dollar Question Project Held over 50 Executive Interviews, Surveyed More Than 175 Business Leaders, and Ran Five Workshops to Discern How Canada Can Survive and Thrive Postvaccine

TORONTO—Today, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the BCG Centre for Canada's Future released new research that explores Canada’s pandemic recovery as vaccines roll out, recommending priorities for businesses, governments, and other institutions to thrive as the crisis enters its next phase. The Trillion-Dollar Question: How Canada Can Survive and Thrive in the Postvaccine Normal found there are six critical actions for Canadian leaders to adopt to both deal with the pandemic’s legacy and capture the unexpected opportunities it has created.

“We started by asking the question of how Canada could survive and thrive in the postvaccine normal,” said Keith Halliday, director of BCG’s Centre for Canada's Future. “We want to provide private and public sector leaders with a widely applicable playbook tackling the key postvaccine success factors that will enable them to succeed in a highly uncertain future environment.”

The Trillion-Dollar Question included a comprehensive research program to gather perspectives from Canadian CEOs, senior executives, and other thought leaders on how Canada can survive and thrive in the postvaccine normal. The data from this outreach has been distilled into six priorities for the country over the next 18 to 36 months, including: talent, digital, post-COVID-19 life and work, climate and energy, social cohesion, and national resilience.

“With the vaccine rollout now underway, the question isn’t if we will get through the current crisis, but what Canada will look like once the pandemic subsides,” said Christine Wurzbacher, managing director and partner at BCG Montreal. “We now know whole-of-society collaboration is possible to achieve big things, and we must take actions that can secure a prosperous future for the next generation.”

Six Critical Actions for Postpandemic Recovery

BCG’s research identified six no-regrets moves that Canadian leaders can take based on key success factors, including redoubling efforts to advance high-priority pre-crisis initiatives and acting with equal conviction to build on the rapid adaptations made during the crisis.

  • Digitize like It's 2020. Organizations need to maintain the pace and scale of digitization exhibited at the start of the pandemic. This includes expanding the use of existing tools and investing in new areas such as digital supply chains and big data analytics.
  • Cut Carbon like It's COVID-19. Government, corporations, and households must decarbonize with the same urgency taken to flatten the curve, and take a similar whole-of-society approach. Government leadership will be key to creating an enabling environment for investment and facilitating a just transition for our energy workers.
  • Unlock Talent with New Ways of Working. Leaders should take advantage of openness to the work-from-anywhere model to expand access to talent in Canada and abroad, and governments should double down on immigration. Together, we need to revamp our talent strategies for remote work to attract and retain talent, enhance productivity, and improve labor market participation.
  • Adapt to the Post-COVID-19 Consumer. Companies and government agencies must adapt their product offerings and channel strategies to keep up with the shift to more time spent at home and online, as well as the imperative to leverage digital approaches and improve productivity across the retail sector.
  • Rise to Meet New Social Expectations. Social issues are making their way to board agendas, and communities increasingly expect corporations to take a stand. Businesses need to consider which fault lines are relevant to them and where they can make a positive impact, while government will also need to adapt social programs to support Canadians hardest hit by COVID-19.
  • Build Long-Term Resiliency Now. We must plan for the next crisis now. Critical steps include rethinking our supply chains for essential goods. We also need to invest in social and physical infrastructure, including our pandemic response capabilities. And, we need to manage our record-high household, corporate, provincial, and national debt.

These actions will have a profound impact on economic growth, which is critical to both sustaining our post-COVID-19 debt as well as funding the economic and social investments critical to thriving in the long run. BCG data shows an incremental increase in Canada’s annual growth rate by just 1 percentage point can boost GDP by about $250 billion by 2030—or $6,000 per Canadian. Achieving these goals will require collaboration across governments, corporate Canada, and other players.

To learn more about the recommendations of BCG's Centre for Canada's Future and read The Trillion-Dollar Question: How Canada Can Survive and Thrive in the Postvaccine Normal in its entirety, visit here.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact:
Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com, or
Caroline Stelmach at +1 647-831-1434 or cstelmach@thinkagnostic.com

About BCG's Centre for Canada's Future

BCG established the Centre for Canada's Future in 2017 to contribute to the national dialogue, and spark action on key economic issues. The Centre's mission is to be a catalyst for moving Canada forward, leveraging BCG's capabilities in collaboration with Canadian leaders from across the private and public sectors.

About Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact.
 
Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.

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