From Stabilization to Stimulus and Beyond: A Roadmap to Social and Economic Recovery

First Policy Response, April 15, 2020

16 Pages Posted: 15 May 2020

See all articles by Kate Bezanson, PhD

Kate Bezanson, PhD

Faculty of Social Sciences & Department of Sociology, Brock University

Andrew Bevan

Independent

Monica Lysack

Sheridan College

Kate Hammer

Independent

Date Written: April 6, 2020

Abstract

The COVID-19 crisis is unlike any Canada has faced in the last century. It has forced all but the most essential in-person shared services and supports to cease and many workplaces have ceased work altogether. The immediate social and economic consequences of the health crisis is requiring governments around the world and at all levels in Canada to improvise and formulate policy responses in real time. It has also jettisoned many Canadian political, jurisdictional and constitutional entrenchments about policy delivery.

The COVID-19 pandemic reveals four elements that should inform policy action in the short, medium, and long term. First, the immediate policy responses to it call for and depend upon exceptional levels of social solidarity, which require social and economic support and recognition to sustain Canadians through the crisis and beyond. Second, care is at the core of sustaining Canadians through crisis, and is key to recovering from it. Third, collaborative federalism and federal leadership has been central to the initial stabilization period to shore up the conditions for care and for social solidarity. Federal, provincial, municipal and Indigenous collaboration under federal leadership is required now to lay the foundations for economic and social recovery; a key driver of this will be girding and building a childcare system. Fourth, the road to recovery also requires social infrastructure stimulus spending that invests in building a national system of childcare, stimulating male and female employment.

Two steps should be immediately taken to build collective capacity for recovery. First, using existing bilateral agreements, funds should be transferred to permit licensed childcare services to meet their operating costs while closed in order to have capacity to reopen and reanimate the economy when the crisis lifts. Second, and crucially, the planned Childcare Secretariat should be immediately established, its terms of reference amended to reflect the necessities of the current crisis, and it should be embedded at the centre of stimulus and recovery planning.

Keywords: COVID-19, social policy, economic policy, federalism, care, social reproduction, childcare, recovery, stabilization, stimulus

Suggested Citation

Bezanson, PhD, Kate and Bevan, Andrew and Lysack, Monica and Hammer, Kate, From Stabilization to Stimulus and Beyond: A Roadmap to Social and Economic Recovery (April 6, 2020). First Policy Response, April 15, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3580746 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3580746

Kate Bezanson, PhD (Contact Author)

Faculty of Social Sciences & Department of Sociology, Brock University ( email )

1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 3A1
Canada

Andrew Bevan

Independent ( email )

Monica Lysack

Sheridan College

Sheridan, WY
United States

Kate Hammer

Independent

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