Schooling for equity during and beyond COVID-19

Schools are closed. Physical distancing is happening. Playgrounds are off limits. Life as we know it has shifted invoking fear and anxiety for both young people and adults. These emotions manifest differently for families depending on their context. Perhaps a caregiver has been laid off causing financial stress and food…
Read more

Unemployment may hit 70-year high, but new EI replacement will help

Yesterday, in response to the impact of COVID-19 on workers, the federal government announced the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which replaces the short-lived Emergency Care Benefit  and almost completely replaces Employment Insurance with a flat $2,000 a month payment ($462 a week). The CERB is available to anyone…
Read more

The COVID-19 budget: Queen’s Park takes a stand

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips presented his Economic and Fiscal Update at Queen’s Park today, tabling the Ford government’s battle plan to combat the health and economic crises brought on by the accelerating spread of the COVID-19 virus around the world. Phillips’ intervention is a big one. Today’s update includes…
Read more

6 lessons for climate action from Canada’s COVID-19 response

The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented public health crisis that demands immediate and decisive action. Governments around the world are taking extraordinary measures to contain the virus to avoid the dire consequences of an uncontrolled COVID-19 outbreak. Those measures, extraordinary as they are, hold important lessons for the other, bigger…
Read more

Affordable housing, homelessness and the upcoming federal budget

This year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) was released on March 17.[1] A general overview of the AFB project can be found here, but in a nutshell, it provides an alternative fiscal framework for Canada’s federal government; it’s released ahead of the actual federal budget in an effort to stir debate about an alternative…
Read more

COVID-19 crisis response must address gender faultlines

With each passing day, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic is coming into sharper view. Cancelled events, shuttered offices, suspended classes—we are all affected. There is mounting pressure on families and communities, on Canada’s economy and the key support systems in place to protect us.  Women are at the forefront…
Read more

Some of our most undervalued workers now among our most valuable as pandemic forces rethink of what jobs are critical

In any public emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, society naturally turns to tried-and-true public service professionals for advice, protection and care. First and foremost, we depend on health-care workers risking their own well-being to care for the ill — even in chaotic and overcrowded conditions. Other first responders provide emergency…
Read more

Bold Action in an Extraordinary Time

The coronavirus has brought about a global public health and economic crisis with breathtaking speed. In Canada we are entering a time of emergency on a scale that is difficult to fully comprehend or anticipate. The pandemic has quickly exposed the gaping holes in our social safety net—particularly with respect…
Read more

What should be next for BC workers and families after the initial federal COVID-19 relief package?

The federal government’s newly announced COVID-19 economic relief measures are a good start to aiding people and businesses whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the ongoing public health crisis. It was crucial for the federal government to act fast and provide reassurance to Canadians that help is on the way…
Read more