Mental health, substance use and COVID19: Getting ahead of a perfect storm

What can we expect from the combination of social isolation, sky-high stress, job losses, food and housing insecurity, grief, closures of regular services and supports, access to cannabis and alcohol, and an overwhelmed and preoccupied health care system? A perfect storm for mental health and substance use issues, at a…
Read more

Getting a grip on essential medical supplies

A version of this blog was published as an op ed in the Toronto Star.  Canadians won a reprieve when the Trump administration and 3M, a leading manufacturer of N-95 respirators, struck a deal allowing the company to continue supplying customers in Canada and Latin America. The U.S.-based multinational will…
Read more

Park it: Wi-Fi access is not educational equity

Last week, as Ottawa school boards began to take stock of the number of students without computers and Wi-Fi access, the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) announced that students who didn’t have Wi-Fi at home could access board Wi-Fi in school parking lots. Before focusing on the absurdity of students…
Read more

Long-term funding for domestic violence programs will have lasting impact beyond the pandemic, say experts

COVID-19 has plunged Canada into a state of uncertainty and fear, as people question their ability to pay rent and provide for their families during this crisis. Some vulnerable populations, though, will be forced to live in fear of injury or even death in their own homes. While physical distancing…
Read more

Women bearing the brunt of economic losses: One in five has been laid off or had hours cut

Women are at the forefront of the economic crisis as yesterday’s labour force report from Statistics Canada reveals.   In March, employment among women aged 25 to 54 years fell by 298,500, more than twice the decrease among men. Nearly half of this decrease (144,000) was among women working part-time, many…
Read more

Early Warning: Who’s bearing the brunt of COVID19’s labour market impacts?

March Labour Force Survey Key Facts: 1 million lost jobs, but another 2.1 million had a majority of their hours cut. 3.1 million Canadians lost work or a majority of their hours. 1 in 5 women (1.8 million) lost jobs or a majority of their hours. 1 in 4 youth…
Read more

Canada joins the QE club: What is quantitative easing and what comes next?

With the COVID-19 recession getting deeper by the day, the Bank of Canada has joined other central banks in quickly reducing its target interest rate to near zero and implementing “quantitative easing” (QE) measures to suppress other interest rates and support credit flows, including borrowing by government. Starting April 1,…
Read more

COVID lockdown leads to cleaner air. Could it lower greenhouse gasses too?

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated policy response has caused an unprecedented economic shock in Canada. Millions of workers have lost their jobs, schools and workplaces have closed and everyone who can is staying home. One consequence of this precipitous decline in economic activity has been a reduction in air pollution….
Read more

Face to face with COVID-19: How do we care for care workers? 

In the midst of a global pandemic, are workers in long-term care (LTC) and home care in Ontario getting the support they need to do their jobs and get home safely? No, they’re not. Not by a long shot. These workers are on the front lines of the battle against…
Read more

What kind of return to normal do we want?

In a column published on the IRIS blog (and translated for Behind the Numbers), Guillaume Hébert says that the COVID-19 crisis marks a point of no return on a global scale that could definitively change “our relationship to the community, to public services, to governments, to supply chains, to borders and…
Read more