On a number of fronts, Canadian CEOs appear quite positive about the role of government and regulation - far more so than their global counterparts.
Here in Canada, for example, 81% of CEOs believe the government has been effective at ensuring financial sector stability and access to affordable capital. By contrast, just 46% of CEOs globally believe their government has been effective in this regard. No doubt Canada’s performance through the recent economic crisis is partly responsible for this positive view.
Somewhat of a surprise, however, was the relatively positive view of Canadian CEOs on regulatory efforts by the government. 81% of Canadian CEOs, compared to 51% globally, believe regulation has improved their production and/or service delivery quality standards, while over 60% (compared to 35% globally) feel regulation has helped them pursue market opportunities. This suggests government regulatory efforts have had real, positive impact on Canadian companies.
81% of Canadian CEOs, compared to 51% globally, believe regulation has improved their production and/or service delivery quality standards.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t significant challenges when it comes to government priorities and regulation. From a government priorities perspective, only 19% of Canadian CEOs believe the government has been effective at creating jobs for young people (16-24 years olds). This is very concerning, given the high importance CEOs place on developing a skilled workforce.
On the regulatory side, 69% of Canadian CEOs say that their operating costs have increased, while 52% say it’s been harder to find and attract talent, and 46% say they weren’t able to innovate effectively as a result of innovation.
So while regulations have their place and can have a positive impact on companies, it is very important for governments to consider the balance between the desired objective and the relative cost to Canadian organizations. Canadian CEOs suggested there is a lot governments could do to improve the regulatory environment, including making sure regulations are clear and designed for the long term, and focusing on outcomes rather than process.