Ideas

March 22, 2020

Episode #003: Is the federal government’s economic response to COVID-19 big or fast enough?

In the last week, the Government of Canada announced an $82 billion aid package for Canadians, households and businesses. This is the equivalent to approximately 3% of Canada’s GDP.

While the government deserves to be applauded for the leadership it has shown on the actions taken to date, many wonder if the government’s response to the public health crisis and the resulting economic crisis is enough.

Consider these responses from around the globe:

  • Germany’s stimulus package is equivalent to 15% of its GDP.
  • The United Kingdom will pay approximately 80% of the wage for an employee facing a job loss, as long as their employer keeps them employed.
  • The United States has committed $300 billion in support for small businesses alone, while the total stimulus package could approach $1 trillion.

If the speed and scale of Canada’s response to COVID-19 are not where they need to be, what can the government do to ensure that no Canadian, household, business or organization is worse off than they were before this crisis started?

BCA’s own Adam Legge and Scott Crockatt assess the government’s response to this national crisis so far and offer some bold policy solutions to support Canadians. Adam and Scott both have extensive experience leading organizations and people through crises of various scales. In the episode, each shares his story and experience in managing through major crises.

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:

  • Why do governments and Canadians need to understand why the speed and scale of the national response is vital to support Canadians and businesses through this crisis, and what has the federal response been so far?
  • What policy solutions are available to protect Canadians, ensure businesses remains open and liquid and keep the economy going?
  • What does economic recovery after COVID-19 look like for Canada?

Key Takeaways:

  • The speed and scale of Canada’s response is not where it needs to be, and if we don’t think bigger and move faster, Canadians, households, businesses and organizations will get left behind.
  • It is better to provide more support than what might needed and move quickly.
  • The recovery period after COVID-19 will be long, and a strong business environment is going to be vital to rebuilding a strong economy.

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