About the Project

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there was already a need for policy to adjust to rapidly changing technological, environmental, geo-political, labour market and socio-cultural circumstances. Now, with the economy wounded and international cooperation frayed, there will be an imperative to both double down on previously identified policy directions and to consider the merits of a more fundamental rebuilding job.

The Public Policy Forum is organizing an initiative to tap into the best established and ascending policy brains (thinkers and doers both) in an effort to help policymakers weigh priorities and trade-offs and forge a far-reaching game plan. Regardless of what processes governments ultimately employ to survey the policy landscape, we believe this PPF process will prove of assistance to decision-makers understandably occupied with myriad, complex issues in engineering the transition out of lock-down.

PPF’s Rebuild Canada initiative will lay down a foundation of insights, ideas, options, and strategies for turning the COVID-19 pandemic into a catalyst for something greater than a return to the pre-cataclysm status quo. We will begin by asking an array of leading policy thinkers to write four scene-setter papers addressing a series of key questions relating to four key themes:

  1. the macro-economy,
  2. the determinants of growth and competitiveness,
  3. geopolitical relations and;
  4. labour market and income security.

We will then convene online a broader group of thinkers, doers and policymakers in June through to September 2020 to discuss and debate where policy is at and what needs to be done, looking at it both from the perspective of addressing known issues better and of imaging what transformational change would look like.

The convening process will lead to a second round of approximately a dozen more focused policy briefs to be completed by mid October.

These would draw on a mixture of established policy players and ascendant voices. We will then invite all participants and a range of others to discuss and debate the issues raised and pathways identified at an online convening in the Fall.

Upcoming publications

August 2020 | EI failed so we made CERB: Now What Should We Learn? by Jennifer Robson

August 2020 | Improving public services: Tackling the Deficit and Addressing Canada’s Productivity Lag through a Strategic Approach to Digital Infrastructure by Neil Desai

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