One of Canada’s most influential investors is urging the next federal government to rein in years of deficit spending.

Ron Mock, outgoing president and CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, said he understands opening up the purse strings “a little bit” in a countercyclical situation such a recession, but that caution is warranted in more prosperous times in order to plan for future growth.

“Governments have to have a vision of where they are taking their country. Where are our high-speed trains going to be? Where [are] technology and cities going to be? Where are smart cities?” Mock said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg’s Amanda Lang on Friday.

Ontario Teachers’ — with $201 billion of assets under management and a mandate of delivering financial security in retirement for teachers — always has to be thinking about the long-term, said Mock, who is retiring at the end of this year after almost two decades with the Toronto-based pension fund manager. 

“I like the long view and I am very long on Canada [because] of the capacity that we have here. I think those longer-term visions really point us in the direction that we need to go in to make sure that Canada remains competitive.”

He added that Canada has to keep pace with technological advances globally and the strong entrepreneurial drive domestically.

“Technology is improving productivity dramatically. It’s just not finding its way into the numbers quickly enough,” Mock said.

“Canada has a lot to offer to the world and we need, we can, and should punch above our weight with this longer-term view.”