An ICTC White Paper
Economic Resiliency in the Face of Adversity
Published by ICTC, June 2020
Over the last few months, we have seen the devastating human toll of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as its impact on Canadian and global financial markets. Lockdowns, remote work, and social distancing have cast the digital economy into the spotlight. eCommerce, telemedicine use, and video game consumption have all gone up, and eLearning platforms, fintech solutions, and telecommunication services also saw a substantial surge in demand. Overnight, these changes have already highlighted the importance of digital adoption for many businesses. They have also tested the limitations of our academic institutions and underlined some of the shortcomings of the gig economy.
While such jolts to our global economy are proving challenging, they also test our resolve, responsiveness, and ingenuity in the face of adversity. Larger questions about the efficacy and preparedness of our communication systems, health systems, education institutions, and trade and transportation networks will come to light, as will our ability to shape sustainable communities and a truly eco- friendly future. These are a few of the elements that will require an exceptional policy response in the coming months, paving the way for a robust economic recovery in Canada. The Government of Canada’s aid and stimulus packages have been a welcome relief for many businesses, and they are indeed needed to weather the storm in the short-term. Supporting long-term goals requires a reflection on lessons learned from the past few months and a focus on a recovery strategy that can help Canada emerge from COVID-19 in a clear and resilient direction.
This white paper highlights and addresses following topics as key pillars of Canada’s post-COVID economic future.
- Digital adoption and acceleration for Canadian SMEs
- Workforce development and preparedness
- Building resilient supply chains and focusing on trade
- Enabling a connected health system
- Building cyber resiliency
- Supporting a sustainable and carbon-neutral economy
Researched and written by Namir Anani (President & CEO), Alexandra Cutean (Senior Director, Research & Policy), Ryan McLaughlin (Senior Economist & Research Analyst), and Faun Rice (Senior Research & Policy Analyst) with generous support from the ICTC Research & Policy Team.