As we begin the first quarter of 2021, with lockdowns in place and government struggling to combat a virus that just doesn’t want to go away, it may be challenging to stay optimistic. Whether you feel ready or not, there is work to be done with your organization’s advocacy and government relations plans for the coming year.
With the January 20th inauguration date on the horizon, Grassroots connected with two key business influencers in Ottawa to get their perspectives on what Canada’s business environment could look like moving forward, with a Democrat back in the White House.
On Thursday, in a sparsely populated legislature, Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips rose to deliver the government’s provincial budget, almost eight months after originally scheduled. In a year like no other, fallout from the pandemic and a struggling economy has forced this government to bury their fiscally conservative tendencies in favour of increased spending to support Ontarians.
2020 continues to be challenging for everyone, governments included. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Ford government to chuck the playbook from 2019 and essentially start from scratch. Governments have never been very good at planning long-term but nowadays, with the pandemic and changing priorities on a weekly basis, every government’s priority is focused on protecting the health and well-being of its citizens; while simultaneously doing whatever possible to help an economy that has been devastated since the lockdown.
Yesterday, the government laid out its plan to get Canada back on track and move forward from COVID-19. With the Governor General reading the Speech from the Throne, Parliament has now officially reconvened and will begin to sit regularly (using a hybrid model of in-person and virtual sittings) with House of Commons Committees resuming after Thanksgiving.
Communication is a daunting and difficult task even at the best of times. In times of crisis, such as COVID-19, “difficult” rises to an entirely higher stratosphere. In the midst of a difficult crisis, (and let’s face it, there are no easy crises) and during those times when you might be responsible to communicate elements of that crisis, your abilities will be stretched to their ultimate limits. If you muck it up, the consequences may be severe.
As provinces start to re-open and allow larger gatherings and businesses to resume operations, and Canada’s COVID-19 numbers continue to improve, we are hopeful that parliamentary meetings will also resume in a normal fashion come this fall.