The global COVID-19 pandemic has revealed serious cracks in our socio-economic and environmental systems and structures. Millions of people in Canada were already living in poverty; climate change was impeding northern communities’ access to food; a lack of affordable housing stock was preventing newcomers from successful integration; and inadequate funding and cooperation left many Indigenous communities without the healthcare they need.
At the same time, COVID-19 has demonstrated just how much is possible when our governments resolve to take action.
As we move from acute crisis to the early stages of recovery, it is imperative that all levels of government hold fast to their commitments to the health and well-being of everyone in Canada. As the country re-opens and re-builds in the months and years ahead, we have a unique opportunity to build back better. We must also ensure that recovery plans from COVID-19 do not exacerbate other existing or impending crises.
CPJ is proud to be part of a massive pan-Canadian coalition calling on the federal government to pursue a just recovery. Collectively, over 150 organizations worked together to develop six Principles of a Just Recovery:
- Put people’s health and well-being first, no exceptions.
- Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people.
- Prioritize the needs of workers and communities.
- Build resilience to prevent future crises.
- Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders.
- Uphold Indigenous rights and work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
Upon their public launch on May 25, 2020, almost 200 organizations across Canada, representing millions of members had endorsed the principles. Organizations wishing to add their name to this growing list are encouraged to do so here.
To put these principles into practice, CPJ is submitting key policy recommendations for all 6 principles to several parliamentary committees and the federal government’s COVID Cabinet Ministers.
Download the brief (PDF)
CPJ gratefully acknowledges the work of many organizations in the development of our specific recommendations. In particular, we wish to thank the organizations involved in developing the Principles of a Just Recovery; Campaign 2000; First Nations Child and Family Caring Society; the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Environmental Defence; The National Right to Housing Network; Canadians for Tax Fairness; and the Canadian Labour Congress.