Business·CBC Forum

What's the cure for Canada's ailing economy?

Canada's economy is off to a rough start this year. Here are 10 suggestions from CBC Forum readers about what the government can do to help.

How would you deal with the low dollar and record-low oil prices?

What, if anything, do you think can be done to help boost Canada's ailing economy? (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press )

Canada's economy is off to a rough start this year. A low dollar, record-low oil prices and global turmoil have all taken their toll.

What's the cure for Canada's ailing economy?

Readers sent in dozen of suggestions in our latest CBC Forum — a live, hosted discussion about stories of national interest. 

Here are ten of them, in no particular order.

(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the username to see the complete comment in the blog format.)

1. High-speed rail

"Time to seriously consider a high-speed rail line from Thunder Bay to Calgary/Edmonton to start, with plans to push through the Rockies and into Quebec later on. A high-speed rail line would revolutionize this country the same way the original rail did." — Douglas Drouin

2. Eliminate raw exports

  "I'd like to see the government mandate that in 10 years no ... raw resources will be exported, only resources that have a value-added component. For example, Canada exports finished lumber, not logs; gasoline, not oil." —  Jon

3. Allow early access to RRSPs

"How about allowing a one-time $12,000 withdrawal tax free to get some money flowing?" — Iracselwon

4. Smaller government

  "Put more money in [the] working class's pocket and that will spur consuming [and] therefore competition, innovation." —  MichaelFromBC

5. Go hyper-local

"Infrastructure projects should not be using steel from mills in China. We should not buy California wine ahead of B.C. or Ontario wine. We need to stop hopping across the border for cheaper flights. Every time we try to buy something cheaper, we set ourselves up for lost jobs." — Q: Are We Not Men?

6. Focus on R&D

  "Governments need to invest heavily in engineering, math, physics and computer science colleges. We cannot compete in manufacturing due to our high cost. Therefore, we must become research and technology development leaders, much like South Korea and Silicon Valley." —  MC_YYC

7. Build pipelines

  "That would put a lot of folks back to work immediately using money from private investors, and it would increase Canada's GDP in the long run." —  MY MILKSHAKE

8. Incentives for construction of low-energy buildings

"This creates skilled jobs everywhere in Canada, uses mostly domestically produced equipment, ultimately lowers people's fuel bills and, if we do have a return to higher oil prices, allows more of the commodity to be exported." — steve lapp

9. Legalize marijuana

  "It will increase the money the government collects as well as opening up many job opportunities in retail and horticulture/agriculture." —  lianec29

10. Focus on population growth

"We can't imagine competing with countries with vastly larger population pools. I would like to see large immigration [numbers] coupled with incentives for having children." — Drock

Can't see the forum? Click here.