Real Jobs, Real Recovery: A Task Force for Canada

This month and next, Resource Works is supporting a national effort to recommend the best path forward out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's the latest on our work.

That's a July 16 report featuring our executive director Stewart Muir outlining the Real Jobs, Real Recovery task force to Mary Cranston of Vancouver Breakfast Television shortly after the big reveal for the latest Resource Works project.

Real Jobs, Real Recovery came about following the May 5 Resource Works report Team Canada for the Rebuild, in which policy analyst Karen Graham advised six constructive actions toward founding what she called "the Next Normal". Wrote Karen: "A crisis of this magnitude does not automatically call for radical proposals, as the Next Normal does not necessarily involve the end of economic life as we know it. It does call for clear thinking and clear action on what is essential, efficient, cost-effective, productive and constructive."

The Team Canada report went on to recommend that a national advisory panel be convened by the Prime Minister to bring together a wide range of stakeholders to share the herculean work that lies ahead. We soon got the ball rolling and quickly found that a lot of others must have been thinking along the same lines, because in no time flat we assembled a growing coalition that now stands at 35 organizations and a score of advisors. Prior to the public announcement in mid July, we spent many hours seeking out the ideas and dialogue we knew would be necessary for any resulting recommendations to have value.

The task force is truly national in scope, representing organizations from east, west, north and south. It unifies industry, workers, Indigenous people and local communities. And it breaks through some of the silo walls that sometimes prevent us from thinking creatively by seeking out the views of diverse branches of natural resource endeavour as well as the commercial, construction, manufacturing and transportation sectors. 

For a sense of how urgently needed we feel the work to be, check out this new article by advisor Mac van Wielingen where he summarizes both the problems we are facing and the solutions available to fix them:

"Canada is now in an era of both stagnating productivity, low competitiveness and excessive levels of indebtedness. In the corporate investment world, we often describe this as a “strategic straightjacket” — with less choice and less freedom to move. All of this should encourage a reset in priorities towards fiscal constraint, incentivizing investment and pursuing more business-friendly policies and strategies that will tilt towards increasing innovation, productivity, and prosperity."

The first draft of the Real Jobs, Real Recovery report has already been reviewed and the group is now working toward sharing final results next month. To stay on top of its progress check the website and follow on Twitter, @RealCdnRecovery.

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