Canada 2.0: Creating the Canada we want

Even when they recede, pandemics and other great crises seldom leave social and economic arrangements as they were. It is now up to Canadians to decide what the legacy of the COVID-19 will be. What kind of economy will emerge from the crisis? Will it be one that honors the dignity of work, rewards contributions to the real economy, gives workers a meaningful voice and shares the risks of ill health and hard times? We...

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How we beat COVID-19 and start opening up the economy

Now is the time for the provinces to sit down together with the federal government and draw up a detailed implementation plan for re-opening the Canadian economy. Every province should be in a position to re-open some of its social distancing closures by the end of May. It is essential, however, that our governments be clear that the process of re-opening the economy poses two separate questions. One question is short-term and relates to how...

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Canadians are tired of isolation and want a return to normal: Here are four things the government can do now to get us there

After a solitary Easter Sunday, Canadians entered another week in social isolation confronted by two contradictory facts. The lockdowns that have transformed daily life across the country are working, slowing the spread of the virus and saving lives. The western provinces are seeing a significant decline in new cases from their peak, while the number of new cases has flattened in Ontario and Quebec. But the lockdowns have brought commerce to a shuddering halt, forcing...

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Low COVID-19 testing rates undermining fight against virus in Ontario

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario has trailed the rest of the country when it comes to testing people for the virus. It’s been a fatal gap in the province’s pandemic response, since a key method of stopping the outbreak involves figuring out who has the virus, and then isolating them and their contacts. Doing public health without adequate testing is like telling the fire department to rush to a nine-alarm blaze, and...

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Canada needs to get employment programs out the door fast to prevent mass job loss

Canada has shut down all non-essential services to stop the spread of the Covid-19. This action has had massive economic consequences which require an equally massive jobs response by our governments. On Friday, April 9, Statistics Canada reported that more than one million people in Canada lost their jobs in March reflecting the first wave of layoffs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ontario experienced the largest job losses in raw numbers, with the number of...

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How much do we really have to shut down to keep Canada safe? When will life be able to return to normal?

As public demands escalate for governments to do more to combat the ever-worsening novel coronavirus pandemic, two distinct camps seem to be forming: one essentially calling for a lockdown of the country, the other demanding a massive expansion of testing, isolation and monitoring. In other words, some are urging a "close everything down - everyone stay at home" approach with all the economic and social fallout that portends, while others are urging an aggressive effort...

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Mass testing could have stopped the coronavirus and governments knew it: Why didn’t the politicians act?

It is now becoming apparent that governments around the world have long had considerable knowledge about the risks of a coronavirus type pandemic and have had studies that accurately predicted the shortcomings in their health care systems that would hamper their ability to fight such a pandemic. The tragedy is that many countries failed to act on this knowledge and make the changes needed in their pandemic preparedness to keep their poupulations healthy. Earlier in...

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The World Health Organization had a plan for the coronavirus but much of the world ignored it.

It is increasingly obvious that if there was a set of globally enforceable rules regarding public health practices that all nations had to implement at the first signs of a possible pandemic, we would not be facing the catastrophic health and economic crisis we are facing today with the coronavirus. What most people don't know is that in 2005, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) put in place a set of practices to prevent a coronavirus...

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