The COVID-19 response has changed the boundaries between the public and the private sectors. Post-pandemic Canada will have to function differently than pre-pandemic Canada.
This May 2020 report, prepared for Resource Works by Karen Graham of KMG Strategy, argues that Canadian decision-makers should take the opportunity of this enforced pause to consider appropriate public policy to strengthen Canada’s advantages while repairing the structural impediments that have held back the country’s progress in recent years.
The rebuild phase offers the opportunity to strengthen Canada’s advantages, including ways to unleash the potential of Canada’s critical resource sectors – including energy, mining, forestry and agriculture – and the infrastructure and mechanisms needed to get them to internal and external markets. Establishing this “Next Normal” requires a Team Canada approach where many actors in policy development work together more intensely than in the past.
Under two broad categories – People and Endeavour – Resource Works brings forward a set of proposals predicated on a moderate, reasoned pathway forward to unleash a critical group of sectors to support the national recovery effort. We recommend a national advisory panel be convened by the Prime Minister that brings together a wide range of stakeholders (including provincial and territorial government recovery initiatives) to share the herculean work that lies ahead.
Resource Works’ prescription for advancing a constructive Canada in founding the Next Normal calls for:
- Investments in people, as it will be Canadians’ initiative, skills and hard work that unleash the recovery and lay the foundation for the Next Normal.
- Bold thinking and exploration of previously unimagined linkages between otherwise unrelated sectors.
- Accelerated application of new technologies across industries and supply chains, including Canada’s primary resource sectors.
- Clearly established relationships and solid partnerships among Indigenous groups, governments and resource firms.
- Efficient legal and regulatory processes that aid, not hinder, a turbo-charged recovery.
- Environmental performance that meets or exceeds today’s stringent environmental standards and accompanies a transition across the energy product mix.
About the Author
Karen Graham is the principal of KMG Strategy, which she founded in 2017 after more than a decade in senior public policy roles in the private, public and business association sectors in British Columbia. Areas of focus include natural resource sector policy (including the energy/environment nexus), other regulated sectors of the economy (wine/liquor), Canada-US relations, and provincial/regional economic development initiatives. Karen’s previous roles have included Spectra Energy, the United States Consulate General (Vancouver), the Business Council of B.C. and the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
Karen holds a Master of Arts in International Relations (York University) and a Master of Public Policy (Simon Fraser University).
She can be followed on her Twitter.