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Ontario - Test 1 Readings

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Geography 2011A/B
Wendy Dickinson

IS ONTARIO TURNING INTO A COUNTRY?  Thomas Courchene – economist and adviser to Ontario government on federal-provincial relations  Believes Ontario has transformed into an independent “region state”  In full control of its internal affairs and is firmly integrated into the American economy (especially the Great Lakes region)  Claims that Ontario “is attempting to become the heartland of North America” – could result in enormous consequences for the federal government and the rest of Canada  Benefits from east-west trade of the Canadian economic union, as most of the country’s manufacturing industry is located in Ontario and tariff barriers key out foreign goods  However, things changed in the late ‘80s – federal government negotiated free trade with the US which brought down tariff barriers, and cut transfers to the “have” provinces to help balance budget – this resulted in Ontario paying for everything and getting little in return  Provincial government has slowly responded by separating itself from the federal alliance  Ontario has regained its competitive position with North America – due to economic restructuring forced on the province because of the 1990s’ recession  Many simply believe Ontario is, however, the heartland of Canada and that Ottawa remains a powerful presence, responsible for many aspects of the country  It has been argued that in the future, Ontario will demand that poorer provinces bring their economic/social policies in line or lose financial support from the province ONTARIO’S MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE  Ontario has played the role of “loyal, long-suffering husband” who has patiently tolerated Quebec, the “selfish and destructive wife” in order to preserve a family called Canada  This has resulted in Ontario having to put Canadian interests before its own, forfeit its own power and influence for “the greater good”  However while the “whining Quebec” makes the headlines, Ontario “runs the show” in Ottawa ONTARIO IN THE CREATIVE AGE Ontario’s Opportunities in the Creative Age  Ontario is in the midst of global economic transformation  Goal must be to: o Harness and use full creative talents to grow businesses and industries of the future o Use openness, tolerance and diversity to gain economic advantage o Invest in the infrastructure of the future in ways that enable more innovation and economic growth  Economy is shifting away from jobs based on physical skills and repetitive tasks to jobs that require analytic skills and judgment  This economic transformation generates considerable future opportunity and considerable inequality – certain industries have expanded while others have declined o Greater progress for urban areas, innovative industries, highly educated people, and creative occupations  As Ontarians, during this economic transformation, we must: o Develop distinctive advantage in highly innovative creative industries o Establish new social safety net system o Develop a 21 century infrastructure that strengthens our urban centers and mega- regions while connecting older industrial centers and rural areas  This holistic approach would mean higher wages, lower unemployment, greater resilience from economic shocks, and increased global leadership  Not enough of Ontario’s businesses and industries compete on the basis of the unique and superior goods and services that are required to ensure lasting global competitiveness o As a result, our citizens’ creative skills are less developed than those of the world’s leading jurisdictions o Creates a self-reinforcing downward cycle – when businesses fail to compete, they lack resources to invest in and reward the best creative skills in workers o Workers in turn fail to develop their creative capabilities to the highest level through advanced education and training o End results – lower levels of technological innovation and lagging competitiveness globally  To achieve advantages of shared prosperity, four sets of actions for Ontario are recommended: The Unfulfilled Promise of the Creative Age  Human creativity – ultimate economic resource o Ability to generate new ideas and better ways of doing things is ultimately what drives innovation to raise productivity and living standards  Transformation involves moving from routine-orientated jobs to creativity-oriented jobs – two foundational types of occupations in our economy  Creativity-oriented jobs require workers to apply thinking skills and knowledge to changing situations and to make decisions on how best to proceed o These occupations require workers to operate a heuristic – an organized exploration of possibilities to reach a viable solution o Require knowledge and understanding in specific fields, but also depends on ability to recognize patterns, analyze alternatives, and decide the best way to proceed  Routine-oriented jobs require workers to carry out tasks in prescribed order or to do the same tasks repetitively according to a set or operating procedures o Run an algorithm – set of procedures that will produce desired result o Workers are explicitly asked not to use their judgment or creativity, usually these jobs have a large physical element to them  Proportion of people performing creativity-oriented work in occupations that are heuristically- driven has increased threefold over the past century, especially over the past two decades  Real challenge of the creative age is to build something more than a creative economy – a truly creative society that can harness the energy we have unleashed and mitigate the turmoil and disruption it generates o Rising inequality – those who earn their income from their creativity do much better economically o Workers in occupations based on physical labor are declining as a percent of the total work force, and are more likely to be unemployed Transformation of the Jobs We Do  Rise of creative age in Ontario presents two great challenges: o How do we guide the development of our economy so that we are moving increasingly to one that is characterized by creativity-oriented occupations? o How do we design as much creativity into occupations that are currently routine- oriented?  Creativity-oriented occupations and routine-oriented service occupations will continue to grow much faster than routine-physical occupations o Employment decline in farming, forestry, and fishing occupations  This poses hurdles for our education system – to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for advantage in the creative age, we will need to step up participation in post secondary education significantly o Up to 70% of future jobs created in Canada will require some post secondary education Transformation of what our Industries Produce  Since WWII, Canada has been transforming from what some describe as a goods economy to a services economy (from physical labor to human creativity)  This transformation ultimately benefits Ontario in two key ways: o Our economic growth will no longer be limited by physical resources and hours in a day, since creativity is a limitless resource o Participation in the creative economy can grow beyond the third of occupations that are creativity-oriented Unleashing our Full Potential  Three broad sets of skills play a role in our economy: o Analytical skills – includes skills such as determining how a system works and how changes in conditions will affect the outcome, developing and using rules and methods to solve problems, and quickly and accurately comparing/contrasting patterns or sets of numbers o Social intelligence skills – includes abilities in understanding, collaborating with, and managing other people; also includes ability to assess needs and perspectives of others to facilitate negotiation, selling, and teamwork and complex thinking skills that are essential for assessing fluid, ambiguous human situations o Physical skills – arm-hand steadiness, strength, coordination, dexterity and other physical abilities  All jobs require a mix of analytical, social intelligence and physical skills in varying degrees o Generally, analytical and social intelligence skills are important components of creativity-oriented occupations  As occupations increase in their analytical skills content, wages increase but this is not true for physical skills as wages do no rise with an increase in physical skills  To raise wages, workers, firms and the province would benefit from increasing creativity content in as many jobs as possible – key then, is to shift more and more our job market to higher analytical and social intelligence skills work  Workers in peer states earn considerably more than Ontario workers for increase d analytical and social intelligence skills, but Ontario pays relatively more for increased physical skills o Huge challenge for Ontario – we value physical skills relatively more than analytical and social skills and thus have a greater incentive to develop physical skills; however, employment projections indicate that the economy will demand more social intelligence and analytical skills and relatively fewer physical skills  In order to prosper, province needs firms and industries that can generate high=paying, high- skill jobs – clustered industries – those that are distinctive global competitors and concentrated geographically  Dispersed industries – operate in contrast to clustered industries; found everywhere across the economy, and tend to serve only their local market and thus are less challenged to be innovative o As a result, have significantly lower productivity and wage levels  Clustered industries drive economic growth in Ontario o 41 key clustered industries represent a third of employment in Ontario o Ontario has an above average concentration of clustered industries, creates a sizeable productivity advantage for the province o But we are not benefitting from this advantage fully – partly because we have less capital investment, also a big province and thus have less urbanization and fewer advantages from density  Clusters have less creative content than those of our peers  Creativity increases economic growth and clusters increase productivity – combined effects of creative occupations and industry clusters would be a powerful approach o Clustered industries are more likely to draw creativity-oriented occupations Capturing Ontario’s Diversity Advantage  Economic development is driven by 3 Ts – tolerance, talent and technology – all three are critical to generating sustained economic growth and prosperity  Tolerance – important economic boost can be gained from being open and tolerant o Openness to outsiders, newcomers, immigrants, minorities and gays/lesbians signals a community that is open to all types of people o Low barriers to entry for talent – enables place to attract the best and the brightest from all around the world o Openness to diversity = broader receptivity to new ideas, intellectual freedom, risk tolerance and an entrepreneurial spirit o Mosaic Index – measures percentage of population who are immigrants – Ontario out performs all peer jurisdictions on this index  Talent – prosperity is closely associated with concentrations of highly educated people o Ontario performs better than the average of its peers  Technology – public and private good that increases wealth, attracts talent to regions, and leads to economic growth o Innovation, associated often with technology, can come in form of product or process improvement o Ontario’s high-tech industry employment is among highest in North America, but has low level of innovation Opening Creative Opportunities for All  Increases in inequality has been driven more by faster income increases at the top of the distribution than by deterioration at the middle/bottom  Inequality is likely to rise as share of creativity-oriented occupations increases in work force  For both individuals and economies, income growth and skills development are mutually reinforcing – more income creates opportunities for investing in skills development and enhanced skills increase earnings  While we must work to help all Ontarians improve their skills and qualifications, the greatest opportunity of all lies in early childhood development – critical skills for successfully competing in the creative age include: o Caregiver trust – leads to higher confidence, less rigid approaches to problem solving and higher levels of curiosity o Language acquisition skills – important for verbal conflict resolution o Appreciation of relative quantities – helps in later high order mathematics o Symbol recognition – essential to advanced verbal and quantitative processes Building Geographic Advantage  Ontario can be divided into three types of places: o The first set is well positioned for the creative age; it comprises:  The Toronto region – core city steeped in finance, high end services and media, culture and entertainment  Greater Ottawa – huge number of creativity-oriented occupations related to increasing role of government and has transitioned to a more post-industrial economy  Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph region – budding technology hub w
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