Canada has the world’s tenth largest economy, built on vast natural resources, a highly developed service sector and extensive trade with the US. Its wealthy southern neighbour absorbs about three-quarters of Canadian exports each year.
Canada enjoyed solid economic growth from 1993 until 2007. Then the economy went into a sharp recession in the final months of 2008, and the Government posted its first fiscal deficit in 2009 after 12 years of surplus.
However, Canada’s banks have always been cautious and well capitalised, and so emerged strongly from the crisis. The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics thrust Canada into the global spotlight and provided a boost to tourism. So, Canada’s economy grew 3% in 2010, not a huge amount but far better than many other OECD countries.
“The Canadian economy has fared well and our agencies are busy,” reports Karen Dalton, Executive Director of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS). “Much of the recent growth has been in social media. Ad revenues are falling as these budgets shift to social media, and this is squarely within the remit of PR.”
As in many countries, the industry is keen to drive up levels of professionalism, and to that end the CPRS has recently launched its ‘Pathways to the Profession’. This major new initiative will see it teaming up with educational institutions to deliver training, and in April it will launch the first ever PR certification programme.