Innovation expert says COVID-19 exposing Canada's economic shortcomings


An innovation expert says the COVID-19 crisis is exposing the shortcomings of Canada's economy, particularly when it comes to supply chains and the development of value-added products to keep the country competitive.
Dan Breznitz, with the innovation policy lab at the University of Toronto, says he expects global trade in raw commodities to decline as the virus makes it more difficult to move people and goods around the world.
He says the pandemic is a wake-up call for Canada's resource-based industries and the country must rebuild its capacity to produce goods through innovation in natural resources and beyond.
Breznitz says Canada can no longer produce the basic things its residents need to survive during a pandemic and the country can't count on global supply chains in times of crisis.
He says the ``silver lining'' is that Canada's workforce is much more sophisticated than it was 15 years ago, with the proven potential for innovative ideas, but large multinationals that are cashing in on those ideas.
Breznitz says Canada needs policies aimed at creating more small- and medium-sized enterprises, as well as enabling larger Canadian companies to do exactly what the multinational companies are doing here.