Chuck Magro’s parents came to Canada from Malta in 1965 seeking a better life. “It’s the classic immigrant story,” says Mr. Magro, president and chief executive of Canadian fertilizer giant Nutrien Ltd.
They could have gone to Australia. They chose Canada. But Mr. Magro worries that Canada in 2019 is not the same dynamic country his parents found in the 1960s. It has become too complacent, ceding ground in global trade to more aggressive and determined adversaries, he says.
“When my mom and dad decided to come to Canada … they saw this country that was young and vibrant and building things,” he explains in an interview. “It’s time to get back that hungry, competitive spirit.”
Mr. Magro, 49, is the public face of a new initiative by Corporate Canada to prod post-election Ottawa to get serious about revving up the economy. It’s an effort that suddenly seems more urgent after Calgary-based oil and gas producer Encana Corp.’s surprise announcement last week that it will exorcise Canada from its name and move to the United States as Ovintiv Inc.
Mr. Magro co-chaired a Business Council of Canada task force, alongside Nicole Verkindt of OMX and Louis Vachon of National Bank of Canada, that last week outlined half a dozen things the federal government can do to ensure Canada remains a magnet for talent and capital.