More on the Public Policy Forum Dinner

Eric Reguly of the G&M won this year’s journalism award and gave a great speech on the failure of Canada’s business leaders to compete for global capital. He asserted that, after the British threw capital at us in the 19th century, and the American’s threw capital at us in the 20th, Canadians have become complacent. Having not been compelled to compete for capital in the previous two centuries, 21st Canadian business leaders now retreat and sell their businesses when confronted with the need for more capital. Worse still, some simply transform themselves into declining income trusts, abandoning even the pretense of a future as well as the needed hard work necessary to attract capital. His speech was angry, impassioned, and offered an interesting analysis.

The only counter argument I can think of is the notion that Canada is a grower of small and medium sized businesses. And that it is okay that we sell off our larger companies because we are constantly new ones to replace them. I’m not confident this is the case, and it would only make sense if the funds from sold businesses are used to help grow new ones. Sadly, the state of venture capital in this country seems to indicate otherwise…

Interestingly, journalists seem to always kill at PPF testimonial dinner. Last year Chantal Hebert gave a good speech which you can download a PDF version of here.

[tags]public policy forum, journalism[/tags]

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