Ideas

March 20, 2020

Episode #002: A National Conversation on COVID-19 with Goldy Hyder, President and CEO of Business Council of Canada

Right now, we are experiencing one of the worst public health and economic crises in our modern history. As COVID-19 spreads rapidly across Canada, many businesses are forced to make tough decisions. Some are implementing business continuity plans to ensure critical services are able to continue and staff are able to remain employed and do their jobs. However, some are forced to shut their doors, lay off employees and hope that these measures are simply temporary.

Even though we won’t know the full scope of the economic impact of COVID-19 on Canadians for some time, we do know that the economic challenges facing Canada are especially tough as the ongoing oil price war compounds the situation and threatens more Canadian jobs, businesses, and economic recovery.

However, there is much hope. Both the Government of Alberta and Government of Canada have announced significant economic stimulus packages this week, and are working very hard to help struggling Canadians and Canadian businesses get through this very difficult situation.

This past week has also seen businesses across Canada, including over 60 of Alberta’s chief executives, offer their wholehearted support to provincial and federal governments in the response to Canada’s current economic challenges. However, more needs to be done to support Canadians. (Read the letters of support from Business Council of Canada and the Business Council of Alberta below.)

Goldy Hyder, President & CEO of the Business Council of Canada, joins Adam Legge, President of the Business Council of Alberta, to talk about the social and economic impacts of COVID-19, what Canadian businesses are doing to protect their people and businesses, what actions the federal government has already taken to support Canadians and Canadian businesses through this crisis and what more needs to be done.

Please note that we are adhering to social distancing protocols, so this podcast is recorded remotely, and the quality may be affected.

In this episode:

  • What businesses are doing to support their employees, help contain the spread of COVID-19, and what role they play in leading Canada through this health and economic crisis
  • Social impacts of COVID-19 and the need to ensure the right services are in place to support a rise in demand for mental health support
  • How well the federal stimulus package supports Canadians and Canadian business, and what actions governments can take to mitigate the economic damage
  • How the oil price war has compounded the economic damage to Canadian companies, the supply chain and livelihoods
  • What we need to do to emerge from this crisis with resiliency and hope, and how we rebuild for a stronger future

Key Takeaways:

  • Health is the top priority, and we need a coordinated, national approach to COVID-19 response and ensure that all Canadians have access to the right information, support and resources
  • We have the fiscal firepower to support Canadians and the Canadian economy through this crisis. We need to take swifter action and think bigger to mitigate health risk and economic damage.
  • This is a short-term situation. We’re in this together, but we are resilient and will rebuild stronger than ever.

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