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Opinion

COVID-19 will accelerate automation, and we must embrace it

By Joël Blit      

The pandemic will accelerate automation for two main reasons: recessions beget innovation, and the health crisis incentivizes digitization.

The robots are taking over. COVID’s impact on automation and reallocation cannot be avoided and in fact should be actively encouraged since it is the only way to ensure that Canada emerges stronger from this crisis, writes Joël Blit. Image courtesy of Pixabay

WATERLOO—Over the last decade, the rise of robotics and artificial intelligence has emerged as a critical topic of discussion. By some estimates, almost half of existing jobs could be automated within a generation. Not surprisingly, then, managing this future of work has become a primary concern among the public and policy-makers alike. In 2018, under its presidency of the G7, Canada advanced “preparing for jobs of the future” as one of five key themes. Later that same year, the future of work also became one of three agenda priorities at the G20 meetings.

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Military response to sexual misconduct ‘uncoordinated and ineffectual,’ say experts 

Former military ombudsman Gary Walbourne has agreed to a summons from the House Defence Committee to appear next week to address a 2018 complaint his office received.

Top Conservatives Byrne, Patterson, Dodds, Gerstein, Lecce, Mulroney lose delegate election races for party policy convention

News|By Abbas Rana
Campaign Life Coalition claims that its endorsed candidates’ performance played a key role in the defeat of the four prominent Conservatives in the delegate elections.

Long-term fixes for safe drinking water in some First Nations could be out of reach for ‘several years,’ says AG

News|By Beatrice Paez
A small proportion (15 per cent) of the 100 advisories lifted since the Trudeau Liberals took office ended as result of 'interim measures,' according to the report.

Ottawa making ‘good progress’ modernizing procurement, but auditor finds more training needed

Canada’s Auditor General Karen Hogan looked into how departments are better planning procurements for complex IT solutions, including lessons learned from the problem-plagued Phoenix payroll system.

Liberal delay in moving on Bill C-19 ‘puzzling’ given election posturing, says NDP’s Blaikie

After being ‘in a hurry’ to table the bill in December amid strong public polling, Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu says she thinks the delay now is a reflection of a dip in Liberal fortunes.

New committee a forum to look deeper into ever-important Canada-U.S. economic relationship, but will partisan squabbles dominate?

News|By Neil Moss
The special committee was created through a Conservative motion that was backed by the Liberals, Bloc, and NDP. Nearly half of the members of the committee are members of the International Trade Committee.

Torture ‘by another name’: Canada still keeps some prisoners in solitary confinement, ‘disturbing’ new data shows

Federal prison authorities say the Liberal law requires the agency to give prisoner’s the ‘opportunity’ for time out of cell, and often prisoners refuse.

MPs, advocates urge more government action to combat ‘pandemic of anti-Asian racism’

News|By Alice Chen
Most MPs and advocates who spoke to The Hill Times connected this resurgence in hate to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Liberal MP Han Dong noting that communities have come together in response.

Statistics Canada ‘almost ready’ to launch consultations on effort to collect race-based data on crime

News|By Palak Mangat
It will ultimately be up to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and other policing partners to get buy-in from their colleagues to implement the initiative on the ground.
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