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As I write this, public health authorities are once again asking Canadians to step up in the fight against COVID-19. With cases of the Omicron variant spreading rapidly in many communities, it’s easy to get discouraged. Indeed, I’ve heard several recent references to “Groundhog Day”, suggesting we are sliding back to the spring of 2020 when the pandemic first took hold in Canada.
I see things quite differently. In fact, there are many reasons for hope and optimism as we approach 2022. Here are three:
- We have one of the most highly vaccinated populations in the world. Millions of Canadians rolled up their sleeves earlier this year and are doing so again this winter as third doses become more widely available. Vaccination remains the best way to keep ourselves and our communities safe, and to protect our healthcare system.
- Canadians support each other in tough times. From my vantage point at the Business Council, I continue to be impressed by the commitment shown by businesses and their employees to keeping Canadians and their communities safe. Case in point: the business-led rapid-screening consortium that piloted rapid tests in workplaces and shared their knowledge and experience with others. Not to mention the many employers who set up vaccination clinics. We chronicle a wide range of contributions by Canada’s largest companies in our 2021 Annual Report. If you haven’t already seen it, please take a look – I think you’ll find it inspiring.
- Employment levels across the country are strong and Canada’s GDP is close to pre-pandemic levels. To be sure, our economy faces many headwinds, including inflationary pressures, rising protectionism in key export markets and supply chain issues. As Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in introducing last week’s economic and fiscal update, our national focus as we emerge from COVID-19 must be growth and competitiveness. I firmly believe that Canadians and their elected officials are up to the challenge. You can read my full statement on the fiscal update here.
As we close out 2021 I’d like to offer you my best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!
President and CEO
Business Council of Canada
April 22, 2022
Canada’s leading employers are helping to build a brighter future for all – by driving inclusive, sustainable economic growth, creating good jobs, investing in people and skills, and taking action on climate change. Our 2021 annual report highlights some of the many ways members of the Business Council of Canada are contributing to a better future.
Earlier this month I had a thoughtful and inspiring conversation with Susannah Pierce, President and Country Chair of Shell Canada. She shared her optimism about Canada’s ability to transition to clean energy and she explained why it’s so important for all of us to work together toward our common goal of lower emissions. You can listen to our conversation in the latest edition of the Speaking of Business podcast.