Reports & Policy Briefs

Proposed amendments to plant and wild animal regulations

On October 29, 2022, the Government of Canada opened a consultation to seek views on proposed amendments to the wild animal and plant trade regulations (WAPTR). The proposed amendments are mainly administrative in nature and focus on helping align Canadian regulations with recent resolutions related to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, commonly known as CITES.

Despite the administrative nature of the proposed amendments, Dawson Strategic submitted comments to clarify the intent behind several measures related to: certificates of entry for museums/circuses/zoos, exchanges of Appendix I specimens by scientific institutions, the definition of hunting trophy, and the hunting trophy exemption for black bears.

For more information on the consultation, please visit:

Canada: it’s time to strengthen controls over the trade in elephant ivory

On September 22, 2021, Dawson Strategic submitted a letter to the Government of Canada in response to a public consultation on trade controls for elephant ivory in Canada. In the letter, we urge the Government of Canada to take immediate actions to meaningfully strengthen domestic measures related to the importation and exportation/re-exportation of elephant ivory.

The benefits of strengthening controls on elephant ivory include furthering Canada’s contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), supporting our development partners, and protecting the health of Canadians by recognizing that the health of humans, animals, and eco-systems is interconnected.

We hope the government listens to the input from concerned Canadians and groups like Elephanatics, a Vancouver-based elephant advocacy organization. As we state in our letter, “there will be no second chances when it comes to protecting elephant populations, or any other endangered species for that matter. If enough countries take the bold steps that are needed now, we may be lucky enough for future generations to enjoy seeing elephants roam freely in the wild.”

Please share your thoughts on potential actions to strengthen elephant ivory trade measures by sending an email to: info[at]

New report highlights the importance of employer incentives in Ontario’s skills training system

On October 28, 2021, Dawson Strategic published a new report Going Further: Examining Employer Incentives in Ontario’s Skills Training System, which was commissioned by the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance (OSTA). In the report, authors Jeffrey Phillips and René Drolet argue that financial and non-financial incentives for skilled trades employers of compulsory and voluntary trades must be a key consideration as Ontario works to build a modern and client-focused skills training system. Looking at the issue through the lens of Ontario’s construction industry, the report finds that:

  • About 75% of Ontario’s construction industry is comprised of voluntary trades and employers of these trades are often not benefitting from the same purposefully designed financial incentives that exist for compulsory trades.
  • Facilitating access to financial and non-financial incentives, particularly for small- and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs), is critical.
  • It is an opportune time to revisit the tax system as a tool for delivering employer incentives.
  • The new Skilled Trades Ontario (STO) presents an opportunity to strengthen non-financial incentives for employers by delivering an open and simplified experience.
  • There is a need for a sustained and focused dialogue on incentives between all key stakeholders, including an assessment of the current suite of measures vis-à-vis industry needs.

There is an opportunity for government, industry, and other stakeholders to build on the recent reforms to Ontario’s apprenticeship and skills training system and work together so that employers continue to invest in skills training over the long-term.

Budget 2021 – International Trade and Clean Transportation Highlights

On April 19, 2021, the Federal Government unveiled Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. It had been over two years since the last federal budget and this budget reflects the governments desire for a green, equitable, and inclusive recovery from COVID-19. Take a look at our briefing note Budget 2021 – Trade and Transportation Focus for quick snapshot of highlights related to trade and transportation, with a sustainability focus.

Welcome to our site

Welcome and thanks for your interest in our new site. Over the past year, we have realigned our research priorities to focus on sustainable development challenges and refreshed our website to communicate this direction. Going forward, we will be posting short policy briefs on key issues pertaining to clean transportation, international trade and sustainability, and other topics. The purpose is to further a broader conversation and we look forward to hearing from you throughout this process.