Tag: Restart the Economy

Oakville Chamber’s message to all levels of government

Build the necessary infrastructure to support a digitized world and stay current in the latest technology to remain competitive in a post-COVID-19 world

COVID-19 has been surreal to many of us.  Over the course of a few days, businesses were shut down, nonessential workers were required to work from home and people were asked to self quarantine in an effort to control the virus. 

This created a need for organizations, businesses and people around the world in almost every industry to reinvent and adapt to one of the most challenging times since the Second World War.

The difference between then and now is the advancement of science and technology. Unfortunately, COVID-19 represents a tremendous economic shock and burden.  According to experts, recovery is what will be required over the next 18–24 months to get output back to its pre-crisis level.  

There is however some positive aspect and learnings that have developed as a result of the pandemic; technology has enabled hundreds of millions of people to remain connected, productive and healthy.  

For the better part of a decade, Digital Transformation has been the core driver of organizational change. The transition from legacy IT to cloud computing; the expansion of retail and banking into the mobile space; the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and smart automation; and the growth of the IoT were, among other massively transformative technologies, at the heart of a generational forward evolutionary leap. And it is therefore not surprising that these very technologies have enabled businesses, governments, healthcare systems, students, and workers to adapt to the turmoil of disruption caused by the pandemic.[1]

The ability for us to adapt so quickly under these unprecedented conditions only underscores the critical need for governments to continue to invest in digital technology, innovation and a connected infrastructure.  

As part of the plan for recovery, the Oakville Chamber believes that governments at all levels will need to enhance digital connections amongst business, employees, citizens and government to create an attractive climate for business investment and job creation for economic growth.  

An increasingly digital economy will require major investments in sophisticated networks, cybersecurity and electronics.  It will also force businesses to adopt new technologies and business models to interact with customers, clients and employees.

In collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its Roadmap to Recovery we will urge the federal government to commit to adopting technology and innovative measures to ensure a smart and lasting recovery.

Locally, the Oakville Chamber will continue to press the Town of Oakville to forge ahead with its development of both a Mobility Strategy as well as a Digital Strategy.  This is critical as part of our Town’s economic recovery.  Now, is the time to embrace technology and the economic benefits that ensue. 

[1] Forbes


Faye Lyons, Vice President, Governent Relations & Advocacy

The COVID-19 pandemic curve is starting to flatten and Canada needs a plan to restart the economy

On April 6th the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Government of Canada launched the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This network is a coordinated, business-led, inclusive campaign that has focused on providing businesses with the tools they need to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on them, our economy and communities across the country. Its goal is also to help businesses emerge from this crisis and drive Canada’s economic recovery.

We are now seeing the COVID-19 pandemic curve flatten; provinces and territories are allowing businesses to reopen, and Canada needs a plan to restart the economy.

The shutdowns to protect public health showed the complexity of the supply chains that keep our economy going. The gradual re-starting of our economy is equally complex and will require lead-in time for businesses to prepare. This includes understanding what public health rules will be in place and what businesses can expect. Getting the re-opening right will ultimately lay the ground for a sustainable recovery. 

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has identified five key areas that need to be part of the country’s strategy to reopen the economy quickly and safely.

Stakeholder Consultation

The crisis has shown the best policy is made when it widely draws upon the advice of civil society, including businesses both large and small across sectors. The conversations need to start now in a structured manner to ensure that governments at all levels are receiving the best possible advice to minimize unintended consequences.

International best practices

Industrialized economies around the world are beginning the domestic processes to restart their economy. We should use this opportunity to learn from what is working and what is not working in other comparable jurisdictions.

Interprovincial alignment

Both in good times, and through the pandemic, we have seen the perils of misalignment between provinces and territories. Companies that operate across provincial and territorial boundaries need to have clarity and consistency to minimize confusion and ensure as seamless a reboot as possible. Companies also need to have clarity on public health rules as well as access to PPEs to meet those public health guidelines.

Government financial assistance

Temporary financial support programs have been crucial to help some companies stay afloat through the pandemic. However, there is also a need to ensure sustainable public finances. What are the conditions that should guide how the already announced financial support programs are successfully concluded?

International trade

As a country dependent on the movement of goods and services to support the economy, it is crucial for Canada to stay plugged into the global economy. Border closures rolled out in response to COVID-19 have been justified to protect public health, but will be gradually rolled back. Companies will need certainty and lead-in time to fully re-engage with the global economy as these measures are lifted.

– Faye Lyons, Vice President of Government Relations & Advocacy