The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc globally. That havoc can be measured in human lives, businesses in crisis and economies in turmoil. Canada’s recovery is inevitably tied to a global resurgence of healthy and sustainable communities. Achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals is more important than ever.
Canada should convene a global summit similar to the Bretton Woods discussion at the end of the Second World War. We need to rethink critical global financial institutions.
We need to re-examine monetary policy. Canada can rely far more on the Bank of Canada and quantitative easing in building back to our pre-COVID enviable debt to GNI ratio. For too long, we have been driven by a deep-seated fear of inflation while, according to the Governor of the Bank of Canada, deflation is the larger risk. We need to re-examine the post-COVID world economy and move to investments, domestic and global, that will deliver the strongest results.
We need to strengthen multilateral institutions. Despite attacks on the World Health Organization, we desperately need global information sharing. We had never encountered this virus. We had to work and must keep working at a global level.
It is time to imagine a new world of economic policy:
- keep our economy healthy and stable;
- anticipate expanded artificial intelligence (AI) and an economy that is increasingly digital;
- guarantee a good job for anyone who wants one;
- abandon unending economic growth as a goal and replace it with a goal of maximizing human and environmental health and well-being;
- restore the Bank of Canada as a lender to all levels of Canadian governments;
- introduce a broad wealth tax and close tax loopholes that benefit the most wealthy.
We should recommit to article 10 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and modernize it to explicitly recognize climate goals as superior to any trade deals. We must eliminate and rewrite all investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) agreements. The world’s central banks and international financial institutions must cancel the debt of developing countries.
We must also make global commitments to peace keeping, conflict resolution, ending human slavery and protecting migrant and refugee populations as part of our global response.