By Ryan McGreal
Published November 10, 2009
A new report on the Greater Toronto Area mega-region by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) finds that the GTA has underperformed the OECD average in annual productivity growth since 1995.
Its economic growth is "under pressure" from declining industrial sectors, "mixed scores on innovation output indicators", and severe traffic congestion due to "poorly integrated regional transit services and underdeveloped public transport infrastructure".
Further, while the GTA is "Canada's main immigration node" and one of the most diverse regions in the OECD, it does a poor job of utilizing the skills and training of immigrants into the economy.
The report recommends: boosting innovation by improving coordination between universities and creative industries; encouraging economic cluster development around lucrative economic niches; reducing friction in integrating foreign-educated immigrants into their respective fields; increasing funding commitments for integrated public transit to reduce car use; and focusing more on regional strategic planning.