Comparing provincial economic responses to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital importance of collective responses via governments at all levels. The Canadian context of federalism, with a division of powers between federal and provincial/territorial governments, also highlights key differences in approaches to the pandemic. At its best, federalism is an advantageous arrangement, with the…
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1.4 million jobless Canadians getting no income support in April

Key Findings Who’s in, who’s out: In April there were 1.4 million jobless Canadians without any income support from EI or CERB, up from 895,000 in March. 16% of all jobless Canadians had no support in April, down from 30% in March. The largest group of excluded workers (549,000) lost…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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,…
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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….
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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…
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