Slow economic growth bad for Canada’s foreign policy goals: experts


OTTAWA — Canada’s slow economic growth and competitiveness is undercutting its global interests, experts say, as the post “sunny ways” version of the Trudeau government’s foreign policy emerges Wednesday with the announcement of a new cabinet.

The key moving parts could include a replacement for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who might be given a new domestic portfolio, and the fact that International Trade Minister Jim Carr is fighting a form of blood cancer that makes him an unlikely candidate for a heavy travel schedule.

Trevin Stratton, chief economist of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says Canada’s low-growth economy is eroding its broader standing on the world stage, even as managing relations with both the United States and China remains a paramount priority.

He says Canada’s international ranking in a series of global surveys continued to decline in recent months, including during the federal election campaign.

That includes a slide in the World Economic Forum’s ranking of the productivity of G20 countries, which saw Canada drop two positions to 14th place.

Stratton says Canada also fell to 23rd place among countries in the World Bank’s “ease of doing business” ranking and received a lower mark in another index that ranks the “soft power” of 30 leading countries.