The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt in Canada and abroad with over 18 million cases reported worldwide. The crisis has yet to peak in the Global South. Yet the knock-on effects of the pandemic are becoming increasingly clear in the world’s most vulnerable countries with women carrying the biggest burdens, public health systems under massive pressures, economies shattered, trade relations interrupted, food insecurity on the horizon and human rights in peril as nativist policies take root and authoritarian states clamp down on civil society. And when effective treatments or COVID vaccines eventually become available, there will arise the question of having systems for their rapid and widespread distribution globally.
And yet despite the challenges, the pandemic crisis has also expanded perspectives on what is possible – with governments grounding planes in a matter of weeks, countries like Canada rolling out a universal basic income by another name and a renewed recognition of the role of states and social policies to support those at risk of falling behind. Despite all the human loss, disruption and cost of the pandemic, an opportunity also exists for Canada and the world to emerge stronger and more resilient from the crisis.
This session, co-hosted by CCIC and CIGI, will examine the key policy responses needed for sustainable, equitable, transformative and ambitious recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will seek to define some of what a global post-COVID “Marshall Plan” might include and what Canada’s role could be in supporting such a plan.