Demographic changes are just part of the picture.  Ontario’s economy continues to change, driven in large part by globalization.  Global commerce is not new – Canada has always relied on international trade.  But globalization has been increasing with the emergence of new institutions like the World Trade Organization (WTO), trade agreements that promote freer trade in goods and services and make it easier to move capital, the growth of multinational corporations, and new technologies.

One of the consequences of globalization is ongoing, intense competitive pressures in sectors that are involved in international trade like manufacturing – a reality experienced everywhere.  As well, governments are under pressure to compete for business investment and jobs.

Canada is one of the most open and “globalized” jurisdictions in the world.  According to the federal government, trade is linked to one in five Canadian jobs.  In Ontario, exports and imports of goods make up nearly two-thirds of gross domestic product (GDP).  Over half of the province’s manufacturing output is exported.  Therefore, fostering an innovative, globally competitive economy is a priority for Ontario.  At the workplace level, the competitive pressures on employers and workers to innovate and boost productivity will continue to grow.

On 17 February 2015 the Ministry of Labour in Ontario, one of the provinces of Canada, appointed two Special Advisors to report on the changing workplace.   The Special Advisors have invited submissions in an impressive and informative document: :  Changing Workplaces Review: Guide to Consultations