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Opinion

Economic recovery in the time of COVID

By Pedro Antunes      

Governments can support confidence by being transparent with respect to when and how restrictions will be phased out, what health and security requirements specific businesses will need to adhere to, and what they will do in the event of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Protesters, pictured May 30, 2020, on Parliament Hill, calling for the reopening of the Ontario economy. Emerging from this recession will require restoring business and consumer confidence so that as restrictions are eased, they are ready to hire and spend. Federal support measures are sizeable and are helping maintain household incomes, writes Pedro Antunes. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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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Trudeau says some promises ‘clearly’ touch provincial jurisdiction after premiers slam Throne Speech, but calls for unified approach

News|By Palak Mangat
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the Liberals' Throne Speech committed to 'more policies that would invade provincial jurisdiction than I could count.'

Throne Speech’s climate promises draws mixed reviews, with NDP saying it’s a rehash of old pledges

The Throne Speech promised action on climate change like the country has never seen before, but some experts and politicians are skeptical the Liberal government can deliver.

Former PM Turner was a ‘living legend,’ ‘a great defender of Parliament,’ say politicos

News|By Palak Mangat
While the conditions for Liberal longevity might not have been ripe, Liberal strategist Charles Bird says late former prime minister John Turner came to the leadership when 'he was already something of a living legend.'

Foreign policy focus in new session should be on China, U.S., and human rights, say Parliamentarians

News|By Neil Moss
'The No. 1 [foreign policy] priority is our relationship with the United States,' says Independent Senator Peter Boehm as the U.S. presidential election quickly approaches.

Political parties reach last-minute deal to temporarily change House rules for hybrid Commons, electronic voting

The rule changes includes a sunset clause, with the terms expiring Dec. 11.

‘Whatever it takes’: Trudeau says austerity not an option in the face of staggering job losses, health crisis 

News|By Beatrice Paez
The speech did not promise a full-fledged budget, but said an update to the feds’ COVID-19 Economic Response plan would be coming this fall.

‘I wrote this memoir from the heart’: former Supreme Court chief justice wins Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for memoir, Truth Be Told, a ‘unique and tantalizing glimpse’ into top court  

News|By Palak Mangat
'Writing this book has brought me close to Canadians and the wonder of our national diversity. This prize is the icing on the amazing cake that has been my life': former Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin.

Presidential election could change course on unilateral tariff use, but Canada-U.S. trade tensions will remain: experts

News|By Neil Moss
If Joe Biden wins the U.S. presidency, he will be constrained in the use of unilateral tariffs, say experts, while Donald Trump's re-election may leave Canada once again targeted by national security tariffs.

COVID-19 containment, economic recovery expected to drive fall lobbying

Lobbyists will also be keeping an eye on progress on the government's backlog of big-ticket legislation and regulatory reforms this session.
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