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As we close the book on a very challenging year, it’s tempting to want to move on, and not look back.
But the holiday season is an important time for reflection and I’ve been thinking a lot about the journey we travelled on together in 2020.
It was a year filled with tragedy and the deaths of thousands of Canadians. But 2020 also revealed the best in us – the hard work and resilience of so many. As I write this, I continue to be grateful for the essential workers and healthcare professionals who are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. Despite some light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines beginning to roll out, we face a long, difficult winter.
It’s said that in times of crisis we find out what we’re made of. And I had a unique window into how Canadian business leaders responded to the pandemic in what has been called the largest mobilization of corporate Canada since the Second World War.
They pivoted to produce PPE and medical supplies, donated hundreds of millions of dollars to local charities, protected their employees and customers, provided essential services to ensure we had food, electricity, heat and connectivity, and so much more. We have documented just some of their inspiring contributions in our latest annual report.
But believe me when I say there are many contributions from business leaders that happened quietly and without acknowledgement – including keeping people on the payroll even when there was no work.
I have often said over the past nine months that if we want to honour the lives of those who died from COVID-19, we need to make life better for those who are living. My wish for 2021 is that the partnership between the private and public sectors that carried us through these difficult days will also help us tackle our next challenge: building a sustainable economic recovery that ensures a brighter future for all Canadians. In the coming months we will be having further discussions about how to do that, as we outlined in our recent report Powering a Strong Recovery.
Please accept my best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year!
President and CEO
Business Council of Canada
August 9, 2021
The Business Council’s 2019/2020 Annual Report recognizes the many ways our members responded to help Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also explores how Canada can recover from the health and economic crisis.
Looking for some engaging and inspiring holiday listening? Check out our podcast Speaking of Business that features revealing and insightful conversations with some of Canada’s top innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders.