CanaData conference speaker sees challenges to private-sector growth engine

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At the recent CanaData Construction Industry Forecast Conference in Toronto, keynote speaker David Frum said upcoming Canadian and U.S. elections may hold bigger implications than usual as governments begin to challenge the idea of the private sector being in control of decisions about investment and the use of capital.

“We’re seeing the rise of politicians who reject private sector-led growth for the first time really in 30 years," Frum said. "What that means is that elections are about to become much higher-risk events with much higher consequences."

The author and senior editor of Atlantic magazine also talked about the economy.

“The Canadian economy has reacted much faster than traditionally would have been expected to the changing value of Canadian currency,” Frum said. “This is an industry that is very affected by these issues. The question is, who will be the client in the future? Will government be your most important client or will private-sector clients be your most important client?

During Frum’s address, questions from the audience inevitably surfaced around Donald Trump and his attempt to become the Republican presidential candidate.

“Donald Trump is an unserious person, but the movement that he is leading is a serious movement,” Frum said. “He will not be president of the United States. He’s going to fade. Donald Trump is exactly the type of figure who would not sell in Canada. Canadians are very cautious voters.”

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