On March 18, MLI Fellow Jason Clemens was at the University of Windsor to discuss The Canadian Century: Moving Out of America’s Shadow. Below is a news story about the event from Windsor’s FM 95.9.
A senior fellow with the Fraser Institute and director of research at the Pacific Research Institute believes the 21st Canada will belong to Canada, and Windsor plays a key role.
Jason Clemens has co-authored a book called “The Canadian Century: Moving Out Of America’s Shadow.” He’s speaking this afternoon at the Odette School of Business.
Clemens believes Canada can take advantage of serious weaknesses within the American economy, create greater prosperity for Canadians and move the country into a leadership position in the world economy.
He says the size of the U-S deficit and increasing pressure on the country’s health care and social security systems will give Washington less flexibility to offer investors tax breaks and other financial incentives. “If you look at the federal deficit in the United States, it’s over 12% of their economy, so in other words, more than 1 in $10 is borrowed. They are going to have to go through what will be a gut-wrenching process to balance their budget. And right now, not only are they not moving towards a balanced budget, they’re making it worse…. The social security system in the United States is a freight train going full-blast into a brick wall.”
Clemens says these are problems Canada dealt with in the 1990’s when Paul Martin was Canada’s Finance Minister. “Canada, in my view, will be in a position to implement those (permanent) tax cuts very soon, whereas the United States probably won’t be able to offer them for over a decade.”
But those financial incentives won’t do the trick alone. “If Ontario becomes more attractive, what are things that have to get done locally in Windsor? Certainly one of them, without a doubt, is infrastructure.” He envisions faster passage across the border and a more streamlined process at customs. Clemens says Canada will need to clarify provisions in the NAFTA agreement so goods and workers can pass back and forth easier.
However, Clemens doesn’t believe local or provincial government fully appreciate the role Windsor can play in the greater Canadian economy and cautions all three levels of government to do a better job co-ordinating their efforts.