One thing is certain; we do not want to go back to the old normal.
The pandemic experience has exposed the gaping holes in our systems and institutions.
We believe that now is not the time to cut education, social and health services, ease environmental regulations, or relax labour laws in the name of austerity to help the economy “bounce back”.
Now is the time to reimagine the social, economic, and ecological environment in which we want to live. If we are really “All in this Together” then there must be systemic change.
It is time to empower governments to intervene on behalf of citizens. Our governments have shown that they have the capacity to respond to crisis. Canadian citizens have shown that they have the capacity to co-operate and to care for each other. We have the tools and the will to respond with common purpose.
In recent decades, we have seen racism targeted towards many minorities. We have seen the steady rise in insecure and low paid work, which has left many individuals and families one pay cheque away from disaster. We have seen the devastation to our long-term care homes, and the neglect of our vulnerable elderly.
We have seen how women are suffering disproportionately, most especially where gender intersects with age, race, poverty, and disability.
Work as the vehicle for the distribution of wealth has turned out to be a shaky foundation for a life of dignity. It has also become apparent to everyone that the essential work of providing food and care for the vulnerable has been grossly undervalued. We know now that service jobs are essential to society and deserve to be paid accordingly
We need a new vision where the wealth and resources of this nation serve all our people not just a few.
We must reform Medicare.
We must strengthen our income support system and include some form of universal basic income.
We must create a robust social safety net which includes improved labour rights and decent work.
We must ensure a fair taxation system that treats taxes as a national treasure to be used in the service of a well-functioning society.
We must focus on caring for the planet, safeguard our democracy so that it is one in which all voices are heard and where people are not marginalised because of their race or gender expression.
We must invest in women by developing universal childcare and public transit, by providing affordable housing and ensuring safety from violence.
We must consciously acknowledge and speak up for the importance of equal human rights for all.