Common Terms of Reference—Economic Strategy Tables


Canada's economic growth is expected to continue at a moderate pace, potentially having impacts on the standard of living of Canadians and future success of exports.

Canada's Economic Strategy Tables will galvanize stakeholders in six high impact sectors by identifying ambitious sectoral growth targets. A sector specific approach will also identify competitive advantages, investment attraction opportunities, obstacles to growth and propose a strategic action plan to drive long-term and sustainable economic growth and create high quality jobs for Canadians.

Expected outcome

Long term sector specific action plans to meet ambitious economic growth targets for 2025 and beyond across six sectors where Canada is globally competitive: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean resources, clean technology, digital industries, and health/bio-sciences.

It will be demonstrated by:

  • A common vision for both industry and government that sets the course for moving forward to identify sector strengths, overcome obstacles and improve competitiveness and growth;
  • Business-led solutions, government policy recommendations and public-private partnerships based on short, medium and long-term actionable areas;
  • Greater inclusion of those traditionally underrepresented in the workforce, such as Indigenous Peoples, women, Canadians with disabilities and older workers, in these sectors; and
  • A mechanism to champion and monitor sector growth strategies and results.

Economic Strategy Tables will also act as a sounding board for the federal government on high profile federal initiatives.

Program of work

  • Each Table will be chaired by an industry CEO who drives the agenda of the table and facilitates candid discussion. An all-chairs forum will also convene separately to take stock of progress and address key horizontal issues affecting all sector tables.
  • Each Table will: undertake analysis that maps the current landscape and outlines areas of competitive advantage and key obstacles; establish aspirational top-down targets for long term sectoral growth; develop a sectoral action plan that is a roadmap to deliver on bold ideas, including short term early deliverables and long term initiatives; and identify performance indicators to track and measure results.
  • The program of work will be developed with the intent of an interim report in winter 2018 and a long-term action plan in summer 2018. Engagement to test bold ideas and refine the action plan will be ongoing.
  • Meetings will be convened from fall 2017 to summer 2018. Meetings may take place in person, or by video- or tele-conference.
  • Tables will determine whether to establish working groups to advance particular areas of their agenda and priorities. Working groups may be co-convened with other tables to advance horizontal issues.
  • In fall 2018, Tables will transition to semi-annual meetings with a focus on supporting implementation of action plans.

Organizational structure

  • Each Table will be chaired by an industry CEO, and have senior (Deputy Minister level) representation from the federal government.
  • Industry representatives will be at a senior level, selected based on their expertise, accomplishments and leadership within their sector and segment along the value chain. Industry representatives will have a proven track record for strategic thinking and be strong communicators with the ability to inspire and build support.
  • Industry representatives will need to have time, commitment and passion to advance their respective high growth sector.
  • Each Table will have approximately 15 members collectively reflecting a balance of gender and diversity.
  • Tables will establish an engagement approach to connect their work with wider stakeholders.
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) will house a bureau to support the work of the Tables. The bureau will be reinforced by distributed resources from across ISED and from other collaborating departments, notably Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canadian Heritage, Health Canada, National Research Council, Natural Resources Canada and regional development agencies. The bureau will be responsible for: coordinating the analytic and reporting work of the Tables; ensuring information flow between all Tables and all participating organizations; creating a public facing communications and engagement strategy to ensure that the Tables' work is transparent and inclusive; and supporting the logistics of Table meetings.