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Cda firms falling behind in investment; Ontario, Quebec particularly poor: paper

OTTAWA - The C.D. Howe Institute says Canada is falling behind other countries in terms of business investment.

In a new report, the public policy think-tank says the problem is particularly acute in Ontario and Quebec, where companies have hit a 10-year low in investment per worker over the past two years.

The report comes at a time when the issue of companies hoarding profits rather than spending on new machinery and equipment remains an area of contention among economists and policy-makers.

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz describes the lack of business confidence and investment, not just in Canada but around the world, as the primary cause of what's ailing economies in general.

The C.D. Howe report does not speculate why Canadian firms have not been investing as much as their peers elsewhere, but urges governments to do what they can to encourage investment in such things as machinery, computers and innovation.

Recommendations include urging governments to reduce taxes that discourage investment and to open up more of the economy, such as government-owned utilities, to the private sector.

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