CPJ Joins the Call for a Just Recovery from COVID-19


Unceded Algonquin Territory [Ottawa, ON]: May 25, 2020 —  Today, Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) released its recommendations for a just recovery from COVID-19 in Canada. These recommendations are aligned with the Principles of a Just Recovery, drafted by a coalition of over 150 Canadian organizations from various sectors and regions across the country.

COVID-19 has laid bare what we already knew about the precarity and inequity of our existing systems: millions were already living in poverty; climate change was already affecting northern communities’ access to food; a lack of affordable housing stock was already barring newcomers to Canada from successful economic integration; and inadequate funding and disputes between levels of government left many Indigenous communities without the healthcare they need.

We appreciate the federal government’s ambition and responsiveness in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This moment is showing what is possible when governments act with resolve to prioritize people’s health and well-being. Now, as Canada’s re-opens and re-builds in the months and years ahead, CPJ is calling on the federal government to lay the foundation for a more equitable and sustainable future, guided by the six Principles of a Just Recovery:

  1. Put people’s health and wellbeing first, no exceptions.
  2. Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people.
  3. Prioritize the needs of workers and communities.
  4. Build resilience to prevent future crises.
  5. Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders.
  6. Uphold Indigenous Rights and Work in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples.

“Our target during this pandemic has been to eliminate all cases of COVID-19 in Canada and to build our resilience to future health crises. We cannot do this without addressing the social and environmental determinants of health. Eradicating poverty, core housing need, and food insecurity must be pursued with equal ambition. These are not matters of charity, but of public health and justice.”

—Natalie Appleyard, CPJ’s socio-economic policy analyst


“The pandemic did not end forced migration around the world. Many countries, including Canada closed their borders to contain the virus spread. With many immigrant frontline health workers caring for the vulnerable elderly, the pandemic has highlighted the continuing importance of immigration to Canada. The recognition of the foreign credentials of health and other immigrant professionals and improvement of their working conditions should be core to a just recovery.”

—Stephen Kaduuli, CPJ’s refugee rights policy analyst


“As we move from crisis to recovery, CPJ’s long-standing call for the development of a resilient, diversified green economy built on the principles of equity and justice is more relevant than ever. The impact of the virus, though devastating, has created a space for all members of society to contemplate how to build back better, recognizing the interconnectedness of all of creation, honouring Indigenous wisdom, and respecting the limits of the atmosphere.”

—Karri Munn-Venn, CPJ’s senior policy analyst

Read CPJ’s entire suite of recommendations for a just recovery from COVID-19 here.


For more information, contact Brad Wassink at ac.jpc@darb or 613-232-0275 x. 225.

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