Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis

Our Goals

We are dedicated to providing a quantitative and collaborative environment within which community, business and government stakeholders can come together around a robust, realistic, enduring and affordable regional prosperity evaluation and planning process.

Background

Against a backdrop of fiscal constraint, Canadian regions are under pressure to grow and seek reliable and evidence-based analysis that illuminates the risks and affordability issues (eg. the need to replace aging infrastructure while also investing in new infrastructure to stay competitive). Such challenges are daunting but also an opportunity to embrace sustainable economic growth.

However, the challenges of regional prosperity decision making (prioritization, planning, co-ordination, funding) is thwart with:

  • Risk of politically-driven forces and changing agendas;
  • Resources are scarce and the trade-offs ambiguous;
  • Involvement and reconciliation of many stakeholder points of view;
  • High stakes - politically, bureaucratically, employers, employees and the community;
  • Issues of transparency and accountability of decisions;
  • Data management, assumption and analysis complexity;
  • Risk and reward transfer complexity (eg. P3s)

In the face of such challenges, many have called for "evidence-based decision making" that support strategies to improve the effectiveness of the government's approach to long-term planning. To us, evidence-based decision making means an "evidence-based" process across a portfolio of decision influencers, and it requires the ability to reconcile across public and private forces in a way that supports:

  • Quantitative analysis in a persistent and enduring fashion
  • Evidence based advocacy
  • Evidence based planning using:
  • local, regional, provincial and Canadian characteristics
  • Infrastructure portfolio considerations
  • A means of transparently and intuitively explaining the why, what, how much and when

The Centre is dedicated to these central objectives. It does this by providing the services of a sophisticated computing platform, called Prosperity at Risk, around a collaborative modeling development which includes government agencies, municipalities, and not-for-profit policy organizations. Such a platform is called the

In order to meet the objectives, the Prosperity at Risk simulation platform has been developed to be:

  • Cost effective: evaluations/analysis within the reach of small budgets
  • Relevant: Provides the "case" in terms of risks and rewards across various asset types and industry sectors; Exposes the trade-offs between competing projects
  • Accessible: transparent & open to stakeholders, consultants, businesses, governments
  • Extensible: scope of platform can grow with projects
  • Scalable and realistic: the macro to the micro: growth of depth of analysis
  • Responsive, timely turnaround: within weeks rather than months and years
  • Transparent and collaborative: multi-stakeholder participation on scope, assumptions, evaluations
  • Enduring: A process and capability that endures political, bureaucratic and economic cycles

The simulation platform is as much about a process as it is about a framework of quantitative analytics. In this regard, through our collaborations, we have worked to shore up government, stakeholder and academic relationships that have been involved in the development of the Prosperity at Risk simulation platform.