CMA Canada urges Government to adopt key measures to improve Canadian productivity - Invest in key productivity drivers - people, physical capital, and innovation; fight counterfeiting and IP theft costing Canadians billions of dollars a year

<location>OTTAWA</location>, <chron>Nov. 28</chron> /CNW/ - Canada's recent record on productivity growth is "troubling news" for Canadian competitiveness and our quality of life, the Certified Management Accountants of <location>Canada</location> (CMA <location>Canada</location>) warned today. <p>"If Canadians are going to be in the top rank of global living standards with a better quality of life, it is essential that the government invest in people, physical capital and innovation to boost our productivity performance," Richard Monk, CMA, FCMA, CFE, C.Dir., Chair of CMA Canada told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.</p>
<p>Despite an otherwise impressive economic performance, Monk told the Finance Committee in his presentation of CMA Canada's pre-budget recommendations, that "Canada's recent record on productivity growth and its impact on Canadian competitiveness is troubling news."</p>
<p>Recent reports show that since 2000, the gap between Canada's labour productivity and that of the U.S. has widened from 17% in 2000 to 26% in 2006. Put another way, the output of workers in Canada was 83% that of their colleagues in the U.S. in 2000. By last year, it had fallen to 74% of their U.S. colleagues - its lowest level since the 1950s.</p>
<p>Mr. Monk said CMA Canada believes the single biggest economic challenge facing Canada today is how to get Canadian productivity growth back to at least pre-2000 levels, if not higher. CMA Canada's recommendations to help the government achieve this are:</p>
    People (Human Capital)

    - Establish a fully Canadian-branded international student scholarship to
      attract the brightest and best students in the world to Canada;
    - Establish incentives to encourage gifted foreign students to stay in
      Canada following graduation;
    - Improve literacy to improve productivity. Examine a wide range of
      policy instruments from direct investment in literacy programs to
      employer tax credits for funding approved workplace literacy training.

    Physical Capital

    - Introduce a dedicated information and communications technology (ICT)
      adoption tax credit targeted specifically at small and medium-sized
      enterprises to accelerate growth and productivity as recommended by the
      Telecommunications Policy Review Panel;
    - Increase efforts to harmonize the GST with the five provinces still
      maintaining separate sales tax regimes.


    - Canada's research and development investments by business continue to
      lag behind the U.S. and other countries. Encourage greater research and
      development investment by extending the refundability feature of the
      Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit (SR&ED),
      currently available only to small business, to claimants of all sizes;
    - Alternatively, permit larger claimants of R&D expenditures to offset
      the tax credit against other government levies such as employment
      insurance (EI) premiums;
    - Provide adequate resources to combat the counterfeiting and piracy of
      intellectual property through adoption of recommendations made in
      recent reports by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National
      Security and the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology

    In hearings held earlier this year, these committees were told by experts,
police and business leaders that counterfeiting and IP theft costs Canadians
"billions of dollars" in lost revenues and taxes, with some estimates as high
as $30 billion a year. CMA Canada points out that protecting IP rights can
promote innovation and must be encouraged. CMA Canada's full submission to the
Finance Committee may be found on our web site at
<p>Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada)</p>
<p>With more than 38,000 certified members and 10,000 CMA Candidates around the world, CMA Canada grants a professional designation in strategic management accountingTM and is responsible for standards-setting, accreditation and the continuing professional development of CMAs. Working in organizations of all sizes, CMAs provide an integrating perspective to business decision-making, applying best management practices in strategic planning, finance, operations, sales and marketing, information technology, and human resources to identify new market opportunities, ensure corporate accountability, and help organizations maintain a long-term competitive advantage. To optimize the performance of global enterprises and build strategic management accounting skillsTM, CMA Canada offers innovative executive development programs, advanced on-line courses, and internationally recognized knowledge management publications. CMA Canada is a leader in forging strategic partnerships with allied professional groups to expand career opportunities for CMAs, and to enhance the success of businesses operating in the global marketplace. For more information, visit CMA Canada's web site at</p>

For further information:

For further information: or to speak with Mr. Monk, please contact: R.
David Fletcher, Vice President Public Affairs, CMA Canada, (905) 949-3106,
Toll-free: 1-800-262-7622 ext 3106,; Stuart McCarthy,
Bluesky Strategy Group (for CMA Canada), (613) 241-3512 ext. 229, Cell: (613)

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