Over the last few months, we have seen the devastating human toll of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as its impact on Canadian and global financial markets. Along with the colossal economic slowdown, international supply chain crunches persist, and the global economy is likely to feel the reverberating effects of this pandemic for some time. With global output projections shifting rapidly, uncertainty about the broad and lasting impacts of the health crisis continue to fuel volatility in financial markets and upend corporate decision-making.

Such jolts to our global economy test our resolve, responsiveness, and ingenuity in the face of adversity. Larger questions about the efficacy and preparedness of our communication systems, health systems, education institutions, and trade and transportation networks will come to light, as will our ability to shape sustainable communities and a truly eco-friendly future. The coming year will require an exceptional policy response that will enable a robust economic recovery in Canada. The Government of Canada’s aid and stimulus packages have been a welcome relief for many businesses and workers, and they are needed to weather the storm in the short-term. Supporting long-term goals requires a reflection on lessons learned from the past months and a focus on a recovery strategy that can help Canada emerge from COVID-19 in a clear and resilient direction.

This submission provides policy recommendations, anchored in ICTC’s recently published whitepaper Economic Resiliency in the Face of Adversity.1 In particular, it highlights following topics as key pillars of Canada’s post- COVID future.

  1. Digital adoption and acceleration for Canadian SMEs
  2. Workforce development and preparedness
  3. Building resilient supply chains and focusing on trade
  4. Enabling a connected health system
  5. Building cyber resiliency
  6. Supporting a sustainable and carbon-neutral economy