An open letter from Canadian business leaders on COVID-19

Date: March 16, 2020

Publication Type: Letters

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Publications Archives: Letters

As published in the Globe and Mail.

An open letter from Canadian business leaders.

The organizations and employers we represent compete fiercely every day. Today we stand united in a shared battle against COVID-19.

We urge every leader in the country to immediately shift focus to the singular objective of slowing the pace of transmission of this coronavirus.

International experience demonstrates that social distancing is the only effective method, and is in the best interests of our employees, their families and our communities.

While this will have significant economic impact on our businesses in the short term, it is critical to weathering this storm and will hasten the recovery.

Governments across the country have acted yet these measures will only be effective if all employers step up and do their part to protect the nation’s health and welfare.

The undersigned have taken important steps and urge your organizations to join us:

  • Urge your employees to stop all non-essential travel, whether for personal or business reasons. Travel exposes people to infection, increasing risk for their personal and professional contacts.
  • Enable your employees to practise social distancing. Facilitate work-from-home for all non-critical business functions. Work with government, if necessary, to ensure sick pay for workers. Cancel any in-person gatherings or events. Ensure that mental-health services are in place to support those in need during a period of social isolation.
  • Maintain essential services to Canadians. In co-ordination with government, develop clear guidelines to protect the health of employees who provide critical services to the public.
  • Understand that your employees are looking to you for leadership and trusted information in turbulent times. Share trusted advice from public health agencies and communicate consistently and clearly with your employees. Recap the latest guidance and show them what you’re doing to support it.

On behalf of all of us, including millions of colleagues and employees, thank you to all healthcare workers on the front lines on whom we are relying to help us through this emergency. We have enormous respect and gratitude for your efforts.


wdt_ID First Name Last Name Title Company
1 Wendy Andrushko President DuPont Canada
2 Ayman Antoun President IBM Canada
3 John Baker President and CEO D2L
4 Scott Balfour President and CEO Emera
5 Mark Barrenechea Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer OpenText Corporation
6 Kevin Beingessner Chief Executive Officer Coril Holdings
7 Scott Bell President and Managing Director General Motors of Canada
8 Kilian Berz Managing Director and Senior Partner The Boston Consulting Group
9 Mirko Bibic President and CEO BCE Inc. and Bell Canada
10 Charles Brindamour Chief Executive Officer Intact Financial


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