Demand for critical minerals is expected to increase by 400% to 600% by 2040, according to the report titled Enhancing Domestic Critical Mineral Supply Chains commissioned by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Critical Minerals Council.
Critical minerals — like aluminum, lithium, and nickel — will underpin our push for net zero emissions. They are an essential part of building electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines, and many everyday products.
Canada is positioned as a leader in mining both in terms of innovation and access to resources. As demand is set to dramatically increase, the report prompts that Canada needs to act quickly and decisively to address barriers standing in the way of capitalizing on this opportunity. Our county has the potential to increase mining, production and processing of minerals to meet global demand.
The CCC’s Critical Minerals Council is made up of members representing upstream and downstream corporations, academic institutions, and Indigenous associations.
The report notes the foundation for any growth in critical mineral supply chains in Canada is a commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, which includes meaningful and early engagement with Indigenous governments and organizations from project conception to development and oversight.
The report contains 14 recommendations, which include:
• Incentivize consumers to recycle end-of-life products with critical mineral content
• Increase the scale and awareness of exploration grants
• Accelerate clean energy projects
• Provide targeted infrastructure investment
• Support focused research and development
Read the full list of recommendations in the report: Enhancing Domestic Critical Mineral Supply Chains.
There are valid criticisms of the mining industry, including its impact on climate change. However, demand is increasing. As a nation, we need to work with Indigenous and climate stakeholders to be leaders in environmentally and socially responsible mining practices.
Producing critical mineral domestically allows the industry to provide product for global demand under the environmental, labour, and economic scrutiny we set up, rather than relying on producers like China.
Increasing our recycling capacity and opportunities will play a big role in moving forward, but our move to net-zero emissions and global demand for electronics will require a significant amount of mining.
According to the report, electric vehicles require a far greater quantity and breadth of critical minerals than conventional fossil fuel-burning vehicles. According to the International Energy Authority, it takes about 200 kg of critical minerals to produce a typical electric vehicle. These include lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, rare earth elements, copper, and manganese. China currently dominates the lithium-ion battery market, producing about 75% of global anode and cathode production.
Alternative energy productions also require large amounts of critical minerals. Solar panels require a large array to produce absorbent and conduction layers and module frames. Wind turbines require large amounts of copper, rare earth elements, and aluminum for cables, electrical components, coils and permanent magnets.
Our government recently introduced the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy, which largely aligns with the report from the CCC. The future of our plans to aggressively reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and meet the targets we have set relies on our government working with industry to responsibly and sustainably increase our mining and improve our critical mineral supply chain to become global leaders in this sector.
Investing in workforce resources
The single biggest hurdle for many businesses is rebuilding their workforce, especially in service sectors like tourism, retail, food service, and hospitality.
Rebuilding our local economy will take years and a series of calculated investments from the private sector. According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Canadian Survey on Business Conditions Report, Q3 2022, 39% of respondents identified recruiting skilled employees as an obstacle to business over the next three months, 37% listed a shortage of labour force, and 31% identified retaining skilled employees.
Access to thorough, accurate and no-cost labour information and expertise will help businesses adapt, influencing our economic growth.
Our local Workforce Planning Boards are an indispensable partner in rebuilding our workforce. Locally, the Workforce Development Board has been providing workforce resources for 26 years. They bring direct experience in identifying and addressing labour market and workforce development trends, opportunities and priorities within their catchment areas. Local businesses regularly use resources like the Local Jobs Hub and Labour Market Information Help Desk. The annual Local Labour Market Planning Report provides crucial summaries of key data and qualitative feedback gathered through consultation and collaboration with industry, businesses, training and employment service providers.
Right now, businesses are looking for data and expert advice on providing competitive compensation, investing in career ladders to retain staff, and labour market information regarding planned growth — all of which is available for free from the Workforce Development Board.
Our local Workforce Development Board is one of a number of Workforce Planning Boards across Ontario — all of which are facing the same challenges. In order to provide local labour market information, service coordination and public education, Workforce Planning Boards need more sustainable funding. Operating on one-year contracts on budgets that have decreased over the years has made it difficult to recruit and retain talent to provide these services.
Together with Chambers of Commerce and other business-focused organizations, we issued a letter of support to Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development requesting:
• An increase in funding for each Workforce Planning Board by a minimum of $120,000 per fiscal year
• An increase in the length of funding agreements with Workforce Planning Boards to three years
Additionally, the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce will be submitting a policy resolution on this subject to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to potentially become part of their advocacy efforts.
Workforce challenges are one of the biggest barriers to economic growth in Ontario. It is essential that businesses, non-profits and charities have access to as many workforce resources and tools as possible. After years of funding cuts and precarious one-year funding agreements, now is the time to re-invest in our Workforce Planning Boards with increased funding and three-year contracts.
Heading into a new year with new challenges, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on this last year and see where we can go from here.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its own report on this topic, titled Supporting Economic Growth in Uncertain Times.
What have we learned?
A predictable and stable policy environment underpins business confidence, prosperity and economic growth. This includes economic strategy that raises up those sectors and regions that didn’t fair so well.
We’ve learned that we need a more resilient workforce that is inclusive of everyone and all abilities. This includes addressing backlogs and processing delays in immigration that have resulted in a wait list of more than 2.4 million applications.
Recent years highlighted decades of underinvestment in strategically important areas, including healthcare and infrastructure.
What can the government do now?
Government is the architect of the ‘industrial commons,’ that ecosystem of public goods in which citizens, communities, and businesses can thrive. We need a long-term strategy to invest in common components that are key determinants of growth, including health care, education and training, R&D and innovation, and infrastructure (particularly digital and climate resilient infrastructure).
At the same time, government must protect its investments by reducing the barriers to growth – outdated legislation, policy and regulation, an inefficient and overly complex tax system, and obstacles to interprovincial trade and labour mobility.
Economic growth should involve clear consultation and two-way communication between government and the private sector. It should not be up to industry to push the government into the future rather, both should be equally invested and united in the pursuit of growth and prosperity.
Mainly, the government needs to act in ways that are predictable, accountable, strategic, measurable, outcomes-focused and coordinated.
The OCC has identified critical areas that must inform the government’s strategy for economic growth, including:
• Develop policies that support small businesses and Ontario’s entrepreneurial spirit, including enhancing access to capital, developing and scaling training for digital literacy skills, and investing in reliable broadband connectivity.
• Be bold on interprovincial trade and enhance labour mobility between provinces.
• Modernize regulation that supports recovery efforts, including creating an independent panel to regularly run evidence-based evaluation of outcomes and unintended consequences of new regulation.
• Foster an inclusive workforce that leverages Ontario’s diversity and increases our immigration intake. Our government must prioritize economic reconciliation by supporting Indigenous partnerships, procurement, education, employment and entrepreneurship.
• Invest in growth-enabling infrastructure, from roads to housing, that is climate resilient, energy efficient, and informed by smart planning principles to ensure population and economic growth can be supported for decades to come.
• Prioritize innovation through procurement and policy action on technology transfer and adoption, commercialization, and capitalization. The government should encourage data-driven innovation while protecting against the potential risks and support a Canadian intellectual property strategy.
If nothing else, we’ve learned a lot in recent years. Next year is going to bring some challenges, but it’s largely rooted in the challenges businesses are currently facing. What we need our governments to do is use that knowledge to create a thorough, sustainable plan that supports our private sector in growing our economy and investing in our communiti
The tourism industry in Ontario needs a comprehensive strategy that addresses workforce development, regulatory burdens, infrastructure deficits and regional disparities.
That’s the push from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario in their The State of the Ontario Tourism Industry Report released Dec. 13.
In November we addressed the executive summary that was released earlier, but the completed report takes a deep dive into the issues holding back the tourism sector and drives home the need for the government to create a thorough strategy for it.
Tourism is a vital sector in the provincial economy and is critical for economic recovery.
While domestic and inbound tourism improved in the second half of 2022, the industry is not expected to fully recover from the pandemic until 2025. With rising concerns over a looming recession, cost of living and spending habits, the sector requires a path forward that addresses the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 border closures, capacity restrictions, and structural issues.
The report highlights some bleak findings, including that 4 in 10 tourism operators forecast profitability in 2024 and beyond, and that tourism businesses have accumulated soaring debt to remain financially viable during the pandemic.
While nature-based tourism is having more success compared to its urban counterpart, the rural aspect of it creates more issues with accessing labour. Many tourism employers are in beautiful wilderness areas where nearby housing options are largely waterfront and custom homes, both of which are a bit too pricey for many service sector workers. Attracting people from more suburban locations requires access to a car, which creates barriers in terms of travel time and expenses. With so many service sector businesses hiring closer to where the majority of people live, rural tourism employers need to attract workers who have a passion for the industry and working in the Kawarthas.
Access to a workforce with the skills, experience, and availability needed is one the biggest challenges holding tourism business back right now. Suggestions in the report include:
• Re-conceptualizing how people view tourism careers
• Optimizing work placement opportunities for post-secondary students
• Reforming immigration to retain international students and reliably attract international
workers that meet the needs of the industry
• Consistently promoting job-ready skills in the high school curriculum
• Ensuring that decision-making is data-driven and specific to each locality
The report itself lays out a detailed analysis of barriers in the tourism sector with a tangible set of recommendations on each issue. It’s divided into four sections: economy, labour, infrastructure and the future of tourism in Ontario. The key issues and recommendations discussed speak to themes of labour gaps and instability, the uneven pace of economic recovery, red tape, the housing crisis, connectivity, transportation networks, investment attraction, destination development, economic growth, and sustainability.
The report concludes that in order for Ontario’s tourism industry to grow, attract investment, and remain resilient, we must address the economic, labour, and infrastructure barriers impeding the full potential of the industry.
The beauty of the Kawarthas and opportunities to explore it will continue to draw visitors to our region. Investing in a robust tourism sector with a clear and progressive strategy will help us make the most of what we have to offer, giving visitors a better experience and building stronger local communities.
Addressing our broken links
Businesses that adopt technology tend to be more productive, competitive, and resilient.
Many businesses have invested considerable time and money into new technology in recent years through necessity and rapidly changing consumer habits, however small businesses are struggling to keep up with larger businesses in the digital world. This is especially true for rural and traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. Larger, urban businesses have more access to the resources, skills, and bandwidth they need.
Claudia Dessanti, Senior Manager of Policy at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) took the time to thoroughly research the subject with a new report titled Broken Links: Driving Technology Adoption within Ontario’s Small Businesses.
The right tools can help businesses improve productivity, improve customer engagement, reach new markets, and grow. In a time when many employers are having to make due with less-than-ideal staffing levels, technology can improve efficiency and allow them to make do with less.
Examples of digital technologies commonly used by small businesses include:
• E-commerce websites/platforms
• Digital payments systems
• Cloud computing services
• Search engine optimization
• Project management software
• Inventory management software
• Digital collaboration tools
When surveyed by the OCC, small businesses across Ontario identified three main barriers to digital adoption:
• Capital costs required - 51%
• Access to technically skilled workers - 42%
• Broadband connectivity - 35%
The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce has been pushing to reduce these barriers over the years. We are currently running the local Digital Main Street program which includes free access to local experts on our Digital Service Squad. They are available to help businesses work through their digital challenges and create plans to help get where they want to be. They are also able to help businesses apply for grants, including the Digital Transformation Grant and Canada Digital Adoption Program. For more details on this, reach out to Clarance D’Silva at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In her report, Dessanti lays out nine key recommendations:
Access to Resources:
1. Broaden eligibility for technology adoption programs to include non-profit organizations.
2. Make it easier for small businesses to access digitization supports.
3. Improve access to private capital and credit for small businesses.
Access to Skills
4. Develop and scale successful digital training programs for small business owners and employees.
5. Build more inclusive digital training programs.
6. Expand work-integrated learning programs and incentivize smaller employers to participate in them.
7. Continue to prioritize and accelerate the rollout of broadband across Ontario.
8. Address inefficiencies and barriers to private sector broadband investments.
9. Explore “dig once” strategies, future-proofing of digital infrastructure, and opportunities for better data sharing around broadband gaps.
Progress is being made on the broadband portfolio. We recently hosted federal Rural Economic Development Minister Gudie Hutchings for an announcement of $56 million in funding toward local broadband internet projects. The announcement is part of a plan to provide proper high-speed internet to everyone in Ontario by the end of 2025.
We have also been active with other chambers and the OCC on issues like “dig once” policies, digital training programs, and funding.
As a Chamber, we will keep advocating for supports for business to invest in technology, developing a local workforce with the technology skills we need, and increasing internet access.
While some businesses are leading our economic recovery and will be well positioned for a potential economic slowdown, others continue to face significant challenges.
The Government of Ontario recently released the 2022 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review titled Ontario’s Plan to Build: A Progress Update.
As a Chamber of Commerce, we support the government’s emphasis on fiscally prudent investments targeted towards businesses and individuals in most need of relief. Directing assistance toward the specific businesses and sectors that most need it will help the government to focus on some key issues Ontario’s economy needs urgent action on, like healthcare.
For budget 2023, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is urging the Province to introduce measures around:
Health: Develop a robust strategy to tackle the health human resources crisis (e.g., by leveraging technology and innovative scope of practice and patient care approaches). Implement Ontario’s life sciences strategy. Address the surgical backlog and deferred cancer treatments, diagnostics, procedures, and routine immunizations. Address the mental health action gap (including the opioid overdose crisis). Continue to expand virtual care and digital health. Support the aging population (e.g., through innovative models of care).
Housing affordability: Preserve and build affordable housing options along the housing continuum. Safeguard sustainable growth. Plan infrastructure around complete communities. Address regional challenges in housing supply. Attract and retain skilled workers. Streamline the development and permitting process.
Transportation and supply chains: Invest in land, air, rail, and marine infrastructure to support the efficient movement of goods and services, reduce gridlock, and protect against extreme weather events and other disruptions. Provide financial support to help small and medium-sized businesses adopt supply chain risk management and diversification strategies.
Transit: Support municipalities in filling transit gaps and adjusting transit services based on long-term changes resulting from the pandemic. Address gaps that have resulted from the withdrawal of regional bus service by expanding GO transit, partnering with the private sector, and re-establishing Ontario Northland transit service.
Broadband: Work with municipalities, the telecommunications industry, and local distribution companies to urgently address barriers to private sector broadband deployment (e.g., by exploring “dig once” strategies, future-proofing infrastructure, and identifying opportunities for better data sharing).
Procurement: Modernize broader public sector procurement to focus on long-term value creation over short-term costs. Introduce more flexibility in contracting arrangements to attract more investments. Help small businesses access procurement opportunities.
Energy planning: Adopt a more proactive approach to building transmission and distribution infrastructure. Optimize existing clean energy assets in the procurement and siting of new generation. Integrate low-carbon fuels and electricity solutions within the energy system.
Climate adaptation: Implement a climate adaptation strategy and commit to providing communities with adequate and sustained funding for climate resilience. Support the federal Task Force on Flood Insurance and Relocation.
Decarbonization: Support cleantech research and innovation at post-secondary institutions. Adopt a bold strategy for low-carbon exports. Support municipalities and businesses with electrification of their fleets. Fast-track investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Energy efficiency: Expand conservation and demand-side management programs that help reduce energy costs and consumption for households and businesses, with a focus on small businesses.
Small businesses: Help small business owners with succession planning as they age out of the workforce. Expand and scale small business digitization programs.
Municipal fiscal capacity: Commission an independent review of municipal responsibilities to assess which order of government is best placed to manage them. Undertake a comprehensive review of the province’s property tax system. Commit to funding all municipal services in which the Province controls some aspect of the operation (i.e. the pay-for-say principle).
Economic reconciliation: Support Indigenous partnerships, procurement, education, employment, and entrepreneurship by building on the innovative Three Fires Nations‐Ontario Southwestern Ontario Infrastructure and Economic Opportunities Table.
Cannabis: Provide a comprehensive update on the implementation of the recommendations in the Auditor General’s 2021 value-for-money report on the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation. Allow licence holders and retailers to enter into direct commercial relationships with each other to negotiate their own product mixes, prices and delivery terms.
Mining: Work with industry and Indigenous communities to develop critical mineral supply chains in Ontario. Further, streamline mining regulations. Increase the Ontario Flow-Through Tax Credit.
We’ve been through a lot of unprecedented situations and there’s no playbook for the path ahead. We’re on the road to recovery from a world-wide pandemic while heading into a possible global recession. What we need from Ontario’s government is a clear and predictable path towards long-term growth, productivity, resilience, and competitiveness.
Heading into another period of economic uncertainty, the Government of Ontario recently released the 2022 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review titled Ontario’s Plan to Build: A Progress Update.
As per the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), Ontario’s economic outlook remains uncertain against a backdrop of higher interest rates, inflation, labour shortages, and supply chain disruptions.
The OCC provided a thorough analysis of the economic update. Here are some key highlights for the business community:
The government announced plans to:
Other Business Tax Measures
The government announced plans to:
The government announced plans to:
The government announced plans to:
Cost of Living
The government announced plans to:
Next week we’ll look at what’s missing from the Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review and look at what will help create a clear and predictable path towards long-term growth, productivity, resilience, and competitiveness.
Tourism has been one of the hardest hit sectors in Ontario and continues to struggle to rebuild and recover.
It has been impacted by border closures, capacity restrictions, and lockdowns.
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) and Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) have worked together on the State of the Ontario Tourism Industry Report, which explores a blueprint for growth and recovery of the tourism industry with practical recommendations for immediate and long-term challenges.
Core issues found in the report include labour shortages, regulatory burdens, infrastructure deficits and regional disparities.
While just about every sector is impacted by workforce challenges, few have more issues than tourism. It had to lay off and reduce hours for a significant amount of its workforce. When the borders reopened and capacity limits lifted, that workforce had moved on and taken with it years of experience and expertise. The knowledge gap left behind means that businesses aren’t just looking for whomever is interested in working for them, but they need skilled workers to handle operations and train newer staff.
Adding further challenges is the rural aspect of many tourism operations, especially through the Kawarthas. Access to local labour has dwindled as populations age. Those interested in moving to cottage country are going to struggle to find a home they can afford or even anything to rent. Businesses hoping to attract workers from the city are struggling to find people willing and able to commute since car access is typically the only option.
Lack of adequate high-speed internet is also a significant challenge. It’s more than a convenience for guests — stable and fast internet has become a critical part of business operations. As businesses try to make do with less, they’re turning to technology that can help with overall efficiency including customer relationship management systems, bookkeeping, marketing, scheduling, booking, etc.
Indigenous tourism economies across Ontario have been especially at a disadvantage due to many of these rural challenges.
Even the weather and climate change have impacted tourism in the region with several significant weather events. Some tourism sites are still cleaning up damage from the spring and likely will continue to do so for some time.
The TIAO and OCC report came back with some key recommendations:
• Workforce development initiatives should focus on communicating the business case for careers in the tourism industry, reforming immigration to retain and attract international talent, and optimizing work placement opportunities for post-secondary students.
• Eliminating barriers to growth should involve revisiting taxes for the industry. For example, elimination/deferral of the annual basic beer tax increase, federal excise taxes and revisiting Municipal Accommodation Taxes.
• Emerging markets should be explored, including intercultural exchanges with Indigenous and Francophone tourism sectors, as well as cannabis tourism and agritourism.
• Gaps in public transportation need to be addressed within and between Ontario destinations.
• Access to reliable, high-speed broadband is critical to participating in an increasingly digital economy.
• A provincial strategy should place special emphasis on alleviating regional and sector disparities. Northern Ontario, as well as border cities and the business, events and conference sector, lag significantly behind pre-pandemic levels.
Prior to the pandemic, tourism in Ontario was a $36 billion industry with 200,000 tourism businesses paying more than $5 billion in taxes and directly employing 400,000 people.
It’s going to take a coordinated approach to build back bigger and better. We need all levels of government and their various ministries to communicate and coordinate the recovery of the tourism sector to help our local economy and communities thrive.
Forecasting our economic future is challenging to say the least.
Economists are using phrases like “there’s no playbook for this.” It’s tough to find data on how global economies will react after going through years of global pandemic, a war in Europe, and record inflation that governments are trying to cool through measures that will likely lead to recession.
What we do know is that many of our current challenges aren’t going away in the short term and new struggles will likely arise in months to come.
On that note, the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement was heavy on supports and vision for building toward future goals.
You can read the full Fall Economic Statement here, but some key takeaways for the business community include:
The Government of Canada is making it clear that our future lies in investments in reaching net-zero. This includes training the workforce for sustainable jobs, attracting private sector investment to projects that reduce emissions and drive innovation in technologies that help achieve Canada’s climate targets, investing in clean technology manufacturing, and building our critical mineral strategy to grow our economic with sustainably developed clean technologies and goods.
Additionally, the federal government plans to roll out a tax credit for investment in clean technology. This refundable tax credit of 30% would offset costs for investing environmentally-friendly electricity generation, storage, heating equipment, industrial zero-emission vehicles.
The government is taking action the National Supply Chain Task Force’s recommendations, including addressing regulatory issues to improve efficiency and resiliency of our supply chains, modernizing cargo and clearance inspection practices, improving data reporting and monitoring, and investing in improving access to our international gateways.
The government plans to launch a Canadian Innovation and Investment agency to work to help new and
established Canadian firms innovate, commercialize research, and create new economic opportunities for workers and businesses in Canada. The government is also planning to modernize the National Research Council’s scientific infrastructure and help continue to propel Canadian innovation.
Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is providing $33.5 billion for public infrastructure across Canada. Under this program, provinces and territories prioritize and submit projects to Infrastructure Canada for review.
The federal government is looking to boost immigration to 500,000 immigrants in 2025 with a focus on skilled labour sectors that are struggling with workforce shortages, including healthcare, manufacturing, and the building trades.
The government is looking to create a Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax incentive program, introduce a corporate-level 2% tax that would apply on the net value of all types of share buybacks by public corporations in Canada, and reaffirmed its commitment to the global minimum tax on large corporations.
The quarterly economic statements are a tool to highlight the previous budget allocations in more detail while hinting at what is to come in the next year’s budget.
For the upcoming 2023 federal budget, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has set out some priorities for the federal government:
• Increase Ontario’s allocation of economic immigrants under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, address the backlog of immigrants, and streamline recognition of foreign credentialing for sectors with pressing labour shortages.
• Invest in supply chain infrastructure to address bottlenecks along the supply chain, especially at ports.
• Protect Canada’s clean energy advantage by optimizing existing assets – such as nuclear and hydroelectricity – as well as incentivizing long-term investments in emerging technologies such as carbon capture and zero-emission vehicles.
• Modernize regulatory frameworks to enable growth in industries like mining and cannabis.
• Prioritize working with provinces and territories to remove barriers to interprovincial labour mobility and trade.
• Increase Canada Health Transfer Payments to meet the current and future pressures facing Canada’s universal health care system.
• Reform the federal tax system to attract foreign direct investment, drive domestic business growth and innovation.
It’s hard to predict what exactly will unfold in coming months. Whether we’re in recession, recovery, or growth — investing in the private sector is crucial to our success in moving toward goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating economic prosperity across Canada.
When it comes to investing in our businesses, some areas are easier to convert to dollars and cents return on investment.
In a time when many businesses are struggling to attract talent, it’s critical that we invest in the workforce we have. According to JobSage, 28% of surveyed workers left their jobs due to poor mental health.
According to a report from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), it’s estimated that 12 billion worked days are lost every year to depression and anxiety, costing about $1 trillion US in lost productivity.
According to Occupational Health and Safety Canada Magazine, mental health services cost Canada $50 billion annually, with $20 billion stemming directly from workplace trauma. Deloitte found poor mental health accounts for 30 – 40% of short-term disability claims and 30% of long-term disability claims.
Poor work environments, including discrimination, inequality, excessive workloads, low job control and job insecurity all pose risks to mental health. This all comes on top of stresses from home and more than two years of dealing with a global pandemic.
While mental health struggles happen outside of the work environment, the nature of our place of work being where many of us spend more waking hours than anywhere else means that whether or not the workplace is contributing to the situation, it certainly plays a role in how someone is able to deal with it.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada:
Workplaces can play an essential part in maintaining positive mental health. They can give people the opportunity to feel productive and be a strong contributor to employee wellbeing. Yet it can also be a stressful environment that contributes to the rise of mental health problems and illnesses. No workplace is immune from these risks and we cannot afford to limit our definition of occupational health and safety to only the physical.
The CMHA offers a number of workplace mental health solutions for employers across Canada:
Not Myself Today: Through this employee wellness platform, employees can access helpful tips, learning modules and other resources to improve their mental health at work. The platform helps to build an open and supportive workplace by cultivating meaningful conversations and deeper understanding about mental health and wellness in the workplace.
Customized Training: CMHA offers in-person or virtual workshops based on the needs and interests of your employees. From building resilience and managing stress, to returning to work and coping with change, their facilitators can work with you to deliver the right workplace mental health training for your team.
Psychological Health & Safety Courses: Psychological Health & Safety training is designed for individuals who are working to improve psychological health and safety in their workplaces and/or to implement the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
It’s often easier to see the direct results of investing in skills, training and the physical health of our workforce. But mental health is too big of a deal not to invest in. These investments can lower turnover, increase productivity, and reduce absenteeism. A mentally healthy workplace is not just going to show up, but be there ready to engage, innovate, and help a business thrive.