Policy Responses to Automation in Canada


  • Stacey Haugen University of Alberta
  • Lars Hallstrom University of Alberta
  • Payton Grant University of Lethbridge
  • Justine Cha University of Alberta
  • Patricia MacQuarrie City of Camrose, Alberta


The impacts of automation and emerging technologies on federal, provincial, and local economies have direct implications for labour markets across the country and require a policy response. Taking into account the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic on economies and workforces across the country, this paper reviews the policy choices available to various levels of Canadian governments and businesses in response to the challenges posed by automation. It concludes that reskilling workers, closing economic gaps between rural and urban areas, and preparing for widespread automation are just some of the ways that policymakers, business leaders, and local employers can prepare for, and address, the effects of emerging technologies.

Keywords: automation; emerging technologies; rural work; Canadian policy; rural development

Author Biographies

Stacey Haugen, University of Alberta

Stacey Haugen, MA Project Manager, Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ACSRC)

Lars Hallstrom, University of Alberta

Lars K. Hallström, PhD. Director, Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ACSRC)






Policy Evaluation and Review