As with their responses regarding the issues facing Canada, respondents from the four constituencies differed in terms of the priority they attached to various solutions.
The overall analysis points to the following broad conclusions:
Private sector business respondents, alone among the four constituent groups, called for much less government involvement in their affairs. This was reflected in their top three potential solutions - Lower Taxes, Reduced Government Spending, and Reduced Government Regulation. In contrast, the three other constituencies agreed on two of their top three priorities - Improving Education and Improving Workplace Training. As a third priority, public sector managers chose Increasing R&D, while labour in both the public and private sectors pointed to the need to Strengthen Social Security.
The four constituencies shared a common second-tier set of priorities, which included Increased Investment in Innovation, and Increased R&D.
At the other extreme, all four constituent groups placed the need to Increase Immigration at the very bottom of their lists of solutions. This implies, for most constituencies, a ‘made in Canada’ solution to the important issue of skill shortages.
Labour and management respondents held significantly differing views on the need to Strengthen Social Security or Reduce Work Time. For private and public sector labour respondents, Strengthening Social Security ranked among the foremost priorities, while for management respondents it ranked among the lowest priorities. Similarly, Reduced Work Time had the support of about 40% of labour respondents but only 10% of management representatives in the survey.
Comparing 2000 to 1998, all labour and management constituencies maintained or in some cases increased the priorities they attached to fiscal measures such as Lower Interest Rates, Reduced Government Spending, and Lower Taxes. On the question of Lower Interest Rates, the interest of private sector management rose sharply, approaching levels of priority expressed by labour.
Similarly, most management and labour constituencies maintained the priorities attached to Improving Education, Improving Workplace Training, or Improving Labour/Management Relations. Again, private sector management differed from the other constituencies by placing noticeably less priority on Improving Education and Workplace Training in 2000 than in 1998.