It has been six months since we shut down the economy to all but essential activities in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Federal and many provincial emergency measures introduced since then, though imperfect and unevenly available across Canada, have stabilized incomes and bought governments time to figure out what comes next.
So, what does come next? The mantra "Build Back Better" has become so ubiquitious during the pandemic that it's difficult to say exactly what it means. But the overall idea of using this crisis to fix Canada's inequitable social programs, its housing affordability crisis, the growth of precarious employment, our unsustainable trade policy and other neglected areas of public policy has great appeal.
In this issue of the Monitor, CCPA researchers and Alternative Federal Budget contributors outline what they think must go into a just recovery in Canada. The emergencies before us, from climate change to systemic racism to the prospects of a long recession, require more than "building back better." We need a plan, and lo and behold we may have one.
Here's a sample of what you'll find in this issue:
- A just recovery calls for personal and collective change, writes Trish Hennessy in our cover feature on the AFB Recovery Plan.
- Colour-coded Justice: We have a litany of reports, but little action on police violence against Black Canadians, writes Anthony Morgan.
- Where is the consent of the algorithmically policed? Tech lawyer Cynthia Khoo makes a case for full disclosure of all privacy-invasive police technology.
- To revive and renew Canada's auto sector, we need a plan: Unifor's Angelo DiCaro thinks it's time to drop free-market thinking and help manage the transition to electric vehicles.
- COVID contained, capitalism let loose: Asad Ismi speaks to experts on Vietnam's capitalist transformation and its impact on workers.
- Nepal's stress test: Covid-19 has taken a high toll, but may also accelerate social change in the republic, writes Ram Kumar Bhandari.
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Monitor cover illustration by Michael DeForge.