Task Force to create a blueprint for Canada’s economic recovery
July 14, 2020
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The national Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery has been launched to draw up a blueprint for Canada’s economic recovery as the country emerges from the COVID-19 crisis.
The Task Force is supported by a coalition of over 25 industry associations, unions, professional organizations and Indigenous organizations representing the energy, manufacturing, transportation, forestry and construction sectors. A group of 20 expert advisors has been appointed to help develop and communicate a forthcoming set of policy recommendations for rebuilding Canada’s economic prosperity.
Together the Task Force represents over a quarter of a million businesses and over 3 million workers across Canada.
The Task Force is being convened by Resource Works, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization committed to the development of Canada’s resources in a manner that is inclusive of Indigenous peoples and maintains a clean and healthy environment.
Resource Works Executive Director Stewart Muir says Canada has to keep its competitive edge to create jobs in the post-pandemic recovery.
“Canada must not only maintain our competitive advantages, but also actively leverage them in the recovery effort,” says Muir. “Chief among these is our capacity to produce low-emissions natural resource commodities under robust environmental, social and governance conditions. These are key components of a broader resource ecosystem that is the engine of Canada’s future.”
The Task Force will complete its package of policy measures by the end of July, at which time it will present its recommendations to key federal government decision-makers, as well as to the Industry Strategy Council, a federal initiative launched in response to the economic effects of COVID-19.
“Government leaders have been asking for ideas, and we are responding,” says Muir. “Resource industries are rising to the challenge of articulating a future that shows they understand society’s high expectations and are providing meaningful solutions. I’m persuaded that all Canadians can be inspired by the incredible possibilities for natural resource activities and products to enrich our lives and protect the environment, and I look forward to discussing this with others.”
A broad national coalition
Statistics Canada reported that the Canadian economy shrank 11.6 per cent in April—the largest monthly drop on record. That followed a 7.5 per cent contraction in gross domestic product in March. Both will result in lost tax revenue to a government that badly needs it.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s recent fiscal snapshot showed the federal government’s deficit is expected to hit $343 billion this year.
As a result, job growth will likely be uneven and slow, while whole sectors will remain effectively mothballed, maybe well into 2021. Rebuilding our economy to address these challenges means identifying areas of real opportunity — and pursuing them.
“Fortunately, we already know where we have unassailable strategic advantages,” said Muir. “It will make sense to start the recovery efforts by targeting areas where markets are already waiting for the goods and services that result from people getting back to work. I’m confident that the Task Force recommendations will be accepted by Canadians as a basis for creating a prosperous and environmentally sound national economy in the post-pandemic period.
“Together, we are laying the foundations of a new era where Canada’s innovative natural resource sector leads the way to a return to prosperity,” says Muir. “We can’t simply return to ‘Business as Usual.’ We need a proactive, dynamic and positive approach that empowers Canadians in the short- and long-term.”
The Task Force composition, mandate and other information is available on the Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery website. Interviews with Task Force advisors and representatives of organizations in the coalition available on request.
TASK FORCE ADVISORS
The Task Force advisory group is charged with developing the package of policy measures. It includes:
● Lori Ackerman, Mayor of Fort St. John, B.C.; Resource Municipalities Coalition
● Alan Arcand, Chief Economist at Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
● Mike Cleland, energy and environmental policy consultant
● Sandy Ferguson, forest and bioeconomy expert
● Alanna Hnatiw, Chair, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association and Mayor, Sturgeon County, Alberta
● Tenzin Khangsar, advocate for critical minerals
● Tim McEwan, Senior Vice President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association
● Robert R. McLeod, former Premier of the Northwest Territories, 2011-2019
● Patricia Mohr, economist & commodity market specialist and former Vice-President at Scotiabank
● Karen Ogen-Toews, Councillor, Wet’suwet’en First Nation and CEO of First Nations LNG Alliance
● Adam Pankratz, Lecturer, UBC Sauder School of Business
● Joseph Quesnel, Indigenous policy and governance researcher
● Darrel Reid, PhD, VP Public Affairs, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
● Kim Rudd, former MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, 2015-2018
● Wally Schumann, former Minister of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment and the Department of Infrastructure, Government of the Northwest Territories
● Sheri Somerville, CEO, Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
● Michel Trépanier, International Representative, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
● Mac Van Wielingen, Founder and Partner, ARC Financial; former Chair of AIMCo
● Sean Willy, CEO, Des Nedhe Corporation
The coalition comprises the following organizations:
● Aboriginal Skilled Workers Association
● Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association
● Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
● BC Construction Association
● Business Council of Alberta
● Canada West Construction Union
● Canada Works
● Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors
● Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
● Canadian Chamber of Commerce
● Canadian Energy Pipelines Association
● Canadian Fuels Association
● Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
● Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
● Christian Labour Association of Canada
● Des Nedhe Development
● First Nations LNG Alliance
● Forest Products Association of Canada
● Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of BC
● Indigenous Resource Network
● International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
● Petroleum Services Association of Canada
● Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
● Resource Municipalities Coalition
● Resource Works Society
● Surrey Board of Trade