OTTAWA Feb 6 A Canadian government advisory
group on Monday released a number of recommendations to boost
the economy, including strengthening the country's trade links
and helping to retool workers' skills to deal with a changing
The proposals could be incorporated into the government's
next budget, which is expected to be released in the coming
Noting the anti-trade sentiment that has been increasing
around the world, the report recommended that Canada modernize
its trading relationship within North America by harmonizing
standards and regulations, and develop stronger links with
fast-growing economies, particularly in Asia.
Canada should also invest in trade infrastructure, such as
ports and airports, over the next decade to improve access to
To help workers deal with the changes in the labor market
brought on by technological advances, the council recommended
establishing a non-government organization to operate as a
laboratory for skills development.
Among its functions, the so-called "Future Skills Lab" would
solicit and co-finance pilot programs in skills development to
address identified gaps among workers.
It was the second round of recommendations released by the
economic advisory council that was appointed by Finance Minister
Bill Morneau. Last year's report, its first, recommended the
creation of an infrastructure bank, which the government
subsequently said it will set up.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)