Does Canada Lack Ambition?

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about the pending takeover of MDA’s space division by an American company and the threat to national security it represented.  I asked readers to write their MPs, cabinet ministers, and the prime minister.  I don’t know if anybody did, but I did and it seems to have been noticed. 

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently announced plans to begin examining foreign takeovers for national security threats in the near future.  See this article: http://www.mytelus.com/money/news/article.do?pageID=ex_business/home&articleID=2860914.  The article also discusses something else I’ve noticed:  the lack of leadership in this country has not only been at the political level, it’s also in the boardroom.

Many of our biggest and best companies are being bought up by foreign companies that aspire to be the global leaders in their sectors.  You may not realize it, but Tim Horton’s isn’t even Canadian owned anymore.  It was bought years ago by Wendy’s.  If you’ve wondered why they’ve started sharing premises, now you know.

Why don’t Canadian companies aspire to be the global leader and start buying others?  It seems that even our companies lack ambition.  They just don’t think big, or big enough.  Or maybe they’re just lazy.  Why make all that effort to make the market, when there’s a huge market on your doorstep?  Let the Americans do the hard part, we’ll just sell them the materials they need to build their vision of the world.

Why don’t we build our own vision of the world?  We’re sitting on three and a half million square miles of everything you need to build an economic monster, an empire, and what do we have?  One of the most underpopulated countries in the world, where governments typically rely on primary industries to drive the economy, sometimes at the expense of other industries.

This happened recently when government regulators dragged their feet while two Canadian electric car companies waited for approval of their vehicles.  It finally came for one after the story was featured on the news, but it was too late for the other.  The Richmond, BC based company had already decided to move overseas.  A Canadian car company lost because the government relies on oil revenue.

We need visionary leaders, in government and business, to build the kind of country we are capable of being.  But right now, they’re not there.  I hope they come along soon because if this keeps up, before long none of us will work for a Canadian company.

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3 Responses to “Does Canada Lack Ambition?”

  1. I Am Canada and So Can You « Bloggin’ Off Says:

    […] urged people to write to the Prime Minister, other relevant cabinet ministers, and their MPs.  A couple weeks later, I reported that some of you must have paid attention and spread the word because Industry Minister […]

  2. Star Shaped Pegs in Maple Leaf Shaped Holes « Bloggin’ Off Says:

    […] their opinions?  Very often from American media.  Just as unfortunate is the fact that our business leaders tend to be market followers rather than market makers.  The easy money is in exporting logs and oil and metals – let the […]

  3. Do Canada’s Leaders Have the ‘Nads? « Bloggin’ Off Says:

    […] in national unity.  It could also result in a new attitude and outlook among our political and business leaders – one that puts us first.  Maybe then, if we stop clinging to the past, we will start thinking […]

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