As we embark on a new year and an expanded chapter of ICTC’s journey, I want to take a moment to reflect on last year’s achievements and the opportunities that lie ahead in 2023.
Last year, the global economy started on a positive note before plunging into a sea of uncertainties that tested its resolve. Rising inflation, persistent supply chain constraints, continued geopolitical conflicts, and the reverberating impact of climate change all weighed heavily on Canada’s economic recovery. While the overall job market remained strong, lingering economic conditions and inflationary pressures were increasingly felt by cash-strapped Canadians and businesses alike. This year, all indications point to slower economic activity and a downshift in the job market, given the higher cost of borrowing and sluggish global trade. A carefully calibrated monetary policy response will be necessary going forward to ensure a soft landing of the economy while curbing inflation.
The tech labour market also witnessed a slowdown from the digital adoption fervour during the height of the pandemic. However, the pent-up demand in the Canadian economy helped cushion the blow by absorbing some of these workers in other sectors of the economy. Skills training was at the heart of this economic shift and remains a key catalyst for employment mobility and business success in a rapidly changing Canadian economy.
ICTC had a remarkable year in 2022 in delivering on its mandate of advancing Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. We have considerably heightened the understanding of key issues facing the Canadian economy and society in the digital realm. ICTC published numerous expert papers, reports, and participated in key national/international conferences and roundtables that helped inform policy decisions, the industry, academia, and Canadians at large as to the challenges and the prospects ahead. We also made significant contributions in helping Canadians of all backgrounds equip themselves with the necessary skills to enhance their employment prospects in the economy of today and tomorrow, and we continue to expand our offerings to businesses to help them digitally transform and enhance their competitiveness. We also expanded our regional presence and international reach with an expert talent base of over 109 employees across Canada.
This year, we endeavour to continue to drive positive change as we explore new research, policies, and capacity building programs to advance climate solutions, assist in growing the economy, create new employment prospects for all Canadians, tackle the social implications of the digital landscape, and support building a cybersafe and secure economy. Addressing the climate challenge presents a tremendous opportunity for Canada to drive innovation, grow the economy, and create new employment prospects while affirming Canada’s global commitments. Turning the net-zero carbon challenge into a net-economic gain for Canada is an important industrial strategy that ICTC will explore in more detail in 2023.
I would like to conclude by extending a special thank you to all our partners and stakeholders for their valuable support and trust in our mandate, to the Board members for their insights and guidance, and to the very talented ICTC staff for their remarkable ingenuity and passion for advancing important goals for Canada. I am confident that by working together, we can create significant opportunities for Canada on the world stage and a brighter future for all Canadians.
President & CEO of ICTC