Canada is deep in recession. Social distancing and the halt to non-essential activity were policy actions necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 but the economic implications of the shutdown are becoming evident. In March and April, Canada lost three million jobs—15.6 per cent of our workforce. The total number of hours worked, a truer reflection of the loss in economic activity, was down nearly 28 per cent in April from February levels. Household spending and investment have collapsed, as has global demand for exports. Going forward, Canada’s political and business leaders are facing an unprecedented balancing act—how to boost Canada’s economy with the continued presence and risks of further COVID-19 outbreaks?
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