Transcript: Will the Economy Ever Go Back To "Normal"? | Sep 09, 2020

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Will the economy ever go back to 'normal'? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says BETWEEN APRIL AND JUNE, CANADA'S GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT... THE VALUE OF ALL GOODS AND SERVICES PRODUCED IN THE COUNTRY... RECORDED ITS STEEPEST DROP SINCE THEY BEGAN TRACKING THESE THINGS ALMOST 60 YEARS AGO. BUT THAT WAS FOLLOWED IN JUNE BY THE BIGGEST MONTH-TO-MONTH BOUNCE BACK ON RECORD. AND IF WALKING DOWN THE STREET CAN TELL US ANYTHING, ECONOMIC ACTIVITY DOES SEEM TO BE MAKING A COME BACK. SO ARE WE ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY? AND IS A RETURN TO "NORMAL." VISIBLE ON THE HORIZON? LET'S FIND OUT FROM THESE THREE FOLKS IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL: TREVIN STRATTON, THE CHIEF ECONOMIST AND VICE-PRESIDENT OF POLICY AND ADVOCACY AT THE CANADIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE...

Trevin is in his thirties, with side-parted wavy black hair and a full beard. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and dark blue tie.

Steve continues ARMINE YALNIZYAN, ECONOMIST AND ATKINSON FELLOW ON THE FUTURE OF WORKERS...

Armine is in her late forties, with shoulder-length wavy gray hair. She's wearing glasses and a printed blouse.

Steve continues AND JENNIFER ROBINSON, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL MANAGEMENT AT CARLETON UNIVERSITY...

Jennifer is in her thirties, with long wavy brown hair. She's wearing a black shirt.

Steve continues AND HERE IN THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL, AVERY SHENFELD, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CHIEF ECONOMIST OF CIBC CAPITAL MARKETS...

Avery is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short wavy gray hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt and black tie.

Steve continues AND IT'S GREAT TO WELCOME ALL OF YOU TO THIS, JUST OUR SECOND PROGRAM IN OUR 15th SEASON HERE ON TVO ON "THE AGENDA." AND LET ME JUST, AS WE GET READY FOR THE Q AND A HERE LET ME THROW A FEW MORE STATS ON THE RECORD HERE AND THEN WE'LL GET EVERYBODY IN ON THIS. ACCORDING TO STATS CAN...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Contraction and rebound."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
IN THE THREE-MONTH PERIOD BETWEEN APRIL AND JUNE THE COUNTRY'S GDP SHRANK 11.5 percent. NOW ON AN ANNUALIZE BASIS THAT'S 37.5 percent AND WE'VE NEVER SEEN A NUMBER THAT BIG SINCE STATS CAN BEGAN CHECKING THESE THINGS ALMOST 60 YEARS AGO. IN JUNE, HOWEVER, THE GDP GREW BACK FROM 6.5 percent FROM MAY'S LEVEL AND THAT'S THE BIGGEST BOUNCE BACK ON RECORD AS WE SUGGESTED IN THE INTRO, STATS CAN'S ESTIMATES FOR JULY SHOW A 3 percent INCREASE FROM JUNE'S NUMBERS. SO LET'S SORT OF FIGURE OUT WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW. ARMINE, CAN YOU GIVE US A SENSE BASED ON ALL OF THAT AND YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF HOW THINGS ARE, HOW GOOD ARE WE DOING RIGHT NOW?

The caption changes to "Armine Yalnizyan. Atkinson Foundation."

Armine says YOU ARE RIGHT THIS IS THE BIGGEST DOWNTURN IN OUR HISTORY AND IT'S ALSO NOTABLE THAT IT HIT WOMEN AND LOW PAID WORKERS HARDEST FIRST. AND THEIR CONDUCT HAS BEEN VERY MUTED COMPARED TO OTHER FORMS OF REBOUNDING. SO WHAT WE'RE WITNESSING IS, YES, A BOUNCE BACK. BUT THE BOUNCE BACK ITSELF IS SLOWING DOWN AND ONE COULD SAY, GIVEN WHERE WE ARE AT IN THE CYCLE OF THE SEASON AND FLU SEASON COMING UP AND PEOPLE NOW STARTING TO GET TOGETHER AGAIN IN CLASSROOMS AND IN BARS AND SO ON AND SO FORTH, THIS IS PROBABLY AS GOOD AS IT GETS. WE ARE NOT LIKELY TO SEE THE SAME RATE OF BOUNCE BACK AS WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY WHICH SHOULD GIVE US ALL PAUSE.

Steve says TREVIN, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM FOR THE FIRST TIME. YOU'VE NEVER BEEN ON BEFORE SO WE'RE GLAD TO GET YOU SLOTTED IN. DO YOU AGREE WITH ARMINE WITH WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW ECONOMICALLY?

The caption changes to "Trevin Stratton. Canadian Chamber of Commerce."
Then, it changes again to "The road to recovery."

Trevin says I THINK WHERE WE ARE AT IS WE'VE ENTERED THE SECOND PHASE OF THE ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF THE PANDEMIC WHERE OUR RECOVERY WILL BE CHARACTERIZED BY OUR ECONOMY OPERATING BELOW CAPACITY. THE FIRST PHASE WAS PUTTING OUR ECONOMY INTO A MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA WHERE WE SHUT A NUMBER OF BUSINESSES AND SAW HISTORIC DECLINES IN GDP AND JOB LOSSES, ET CETERA. AS PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES STARTED TO REOPEN AND BUSINESSES STARTED TO REOPEN WE OBVIOUSLY SAW A BOUND BACK IN TERMS OF JOBS, GROWTH, CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AS WELL. BUT WE HAVEN'T GOTTEN UP TO PRE-COVID LEVELS AND WE ARE NOT THAT CLOSE TO DOING SO. WHAT WE ARE SEEING RIGHT NOW IS THERE IS JUST THIS GAP BETWEEN THE INITIAL REBOUND AND WHAT'S ACTUALLY GOING TO BE NECESSARY TO GET TO FULL RECOVERY. AND SO IN TERMS OF THE PROJECTIONS MOST PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT PROBABLY EARLY 2022 WHEN WE GET BACK TO PRE-COVID LEVELS BUT AS ARMINE MENTIONED THERE ARE A FEW VARIABLES THAT MIGHT ACCELERATE OR SLOW DOWN THAT PROCESS. FIRST OF ALL IT DEFINITELY IS IF THERE IS A SECOND WAVE. THAT'S GOING TO BE A VERY BAD CASE SCENARIO. SECONDLY IS ALSO WHAT THE GOVERNMENT RESPONSE WILL BE AND CERTAINLY WE HAVE A THRONE SPEECH COMING UP THIS MONTH AS WELL AND THEN WE'LL SEE WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT PUTS IN PLACE WHAT WILL ACTUALLY GET US TOWARD GROWTH. AND THEN, THIRDLY, THERE'S ALSO LOOKING AT THE INTERNATIONAL SCENARIO WHICH WILL HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON CANADA AND ALL CANADIANS AS WELL. PARTICULARLY WITH THE U.S. ELECTS IN NOVEMBER.

Steve says JENNIFER MAYBE I CAN GET YOU TO PICK UP THE STORY. PEOPLE ARE WONDERING WHEN DO WE GET BACK TO NORMAL WHATEVER NORMAL MEANS. AS YOU LOOK AT THINGS WHAT DO YOU COME UP WITH?

The caption changes to "Jennifer Robson. Carleton University."

Jennifer says I WISH I HAD A FIRM TIME LINE THAT I COULD GIVE FOLKS. YOU KNOW, I THINK THE STAGE THAT WE ARE IN RIGHT NOW IS NOT FULL RECOVERY. WE ARE IN KIND OF THAT REHAB STAGE AFTER HAVING GONE THROUGH THAT MEDICALLY INDUCED CO-M I AM GOING TO BORROW A TERM THAT'S GETTING TRACTION IN THE U.S. AND TALK ABOUT THIS AS A K-SHAPED RECOVERY. SOME SECTORS, SOME WORKERS ARE DOING NOT BAD. IF YOU ARE A HIGHER WAGE EARNER YOU'VE DEFINITELY MADE UP ALL OF THE LOSSES IN TERMS OF YOUR HOURS. BUT WE ARE STILL SEEING 1.8 MILLION WORKER WHO IS ARE UNEMPLOYED OR HAVEN'T REGAINED ALL THEIR PRE-COVID HOURS. UNEMPLOYMENT IS STILL OVER 10 percent. THE SLOPE OF THE EMPLOYMENT GAINS ARE STARTING TO FLATTEN. THIS IS NOT THE CURVE THAT WE WANT TO BE FLATTENING. AND THERE ARE BIG GAPS THAT WE ARE STARTING TO SEE THIS IS REAL BIFURCATION IN TERMS OF WHO IS PARTICIPATING IN SOME OF THE RECOVERY RIGHT NOW. BIG GAPS BY GENDER AS ARMINE HAS MENTIONED, BY INCOME LEVEL, WHETHER YOU HAVE KIDS, RACIALIZED AND INDIGENOUS CANADIANS AS WELL. FRANKLY, THE DATA IS STARTING TO SHOW WHERE YOU LIVE IN THE COUNTRY IS ALSO GOING TO BE IMPORTANT. SO IT'S A REALLY TRICKY SPOT THAT WE ARE IN RIGHT NOW. MY CONCERN IS NOT ONLY DO WE GET BACK TO WHERE WE WERE IN TERMS OF THE AGGREGATE BUT DO WE BRING EVERYBODY ALONG WITH US.

Steve says AVERY I GATHER WE ARE STILL DOWN 1 MILLION JOBS. WHAT'S YOUR ANSWER OF WHAT IT WOULD TAKE TO GET THOSE MILLION PEOPLE BACK INTO THE WORKFORCE?

The caption changes to "Avery Shenfeld. CIBC."

Avery says UNFORTUNATELY, I THINK WHAT WE'VE DONE HERE IS WE'VE PICKED THE LOW HANGING FRUIT. AND NOW WE NEED A LADDER TO GET THE REST OF THE TREE. SO WHAT I MEAN WHICH THAT EVER OF OF... BY THAT IS THE JOBS THAT HAVE RECOVERED ARE IN SECTORS THAT WE CANNOT RECOVER WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING. YOU SEE YOUR DESKS ARE AT HOME. LOTS OF PEOPLE CAN WORK FROM HOME AND THEY'RE IN THE SECTORS WHERE YOU CAN DO THAT. WE'VE REOPENED STORES AND I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT RESCUED THE ECONOMY I LIKE TO THINK IS THE MASKED MAN. IT WAS THE FACT THAT WE HAD SUPERHEROES RUNNING AROUND WITH MASKS THAT LET US OPEN MORE OF THE ECONOMY SUCCESSFULLY THAN WE MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT BACK IN APRIL. BUT THE PROBLEM IS, SOME SECTORS, THINGS LIKE CONCERT HALLS, CONVENTION CENTRES, AIRLINES, THINGS WHERE THERE'S A LOT OF PERSONAL CONTACT NO MATTER HOW YOU SLICE IT, THOSE SECTORS ARE BASICALLY AT ZERO. THEY'RE NOT IN A RECESSION, THEY'RE IN A DEPRESSION IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF FLIGHTS, WEDDING HALLS AND SO ON. THERE ARE A LOT OF SECTORS BASICALLY STILL AT ZERO AND I'M AFRAID THAT WITHOUT THE LADDER YOU PICK THE HIGHEST FRUIT AND I THINK THE LAD CERTIFY A TREATMENT RATHER THAN SOME MAGICAL GOVERNMENT PROGRAM. THE BEST WE ARE GOING TO DO FOR A WHILE FOR THOSE SECTORS IS HELP PEOPLE OUT WITH GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE UNTIL SUCH TIME AS WE HAVE THAT VACCINE, WE HAVE THAT TREATMENT. SO WE ARE IN A DEPRESSION IN SOME SECTORS AND HAVE FULLY RECOVERED IN OTHERS YOUR VIEWERS WILL EITHER FEEL IT'S OKAY OR HAS NO REALITY FOR THEM.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says THE NOTION THAT IS SECOND WAVE COULD REALLY DO SERIOUS DAMAGE TO WHATEVER COME BACK WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF MAKING RIGHT NOW, WE'VE SEEN, FOR EXAMPLE, IN FRANCE AND ITALY THEY'RE DEALING WITH A SECOND WAVE RIGHT NOW. AND IT'S CERTAINLY SETTING THEM BACK, HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU ABOUT THE IMPACT A SECOND WAVE WOULD HAVE ON CANADA, ARMINE?

The caption changes to "Armine Yalnizyan, @ArmineYalnizyan."

Armine says I THINK I'M MOST CONCERNED ABOUT HOW IT MATERIALIZES AND WHERE THE VECTORS OF TRANSMISSION ARE, HOW THE OUTBREAKS HAPPEN. I AM REALLY DISAPPOINTED THAT WE SEEM TO HAVE WASTED OR SQUANDERED THE LAST FEW MONTHS IN PREPARATION FOR THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL PROCESS. AND WHEREAS AVERY IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT THAT SOME SECTORS ARE DEPRESSED BECAUSE NOBODY'S GOING TO CONCERTS, AND TRAVELLING OR VERY FEW PEOPLE ARE. I THINK THE SECOND WAVE IS ALSO RELATED NOT JUST PANDEMICALLY BUT TO THE FACT THAT WE ARE STANDING BY WHILE CRITICAL SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE IS COLLAPSING. SO ONE OF THOSE MARKET-LED SECTORS THAT ISN'T DOING WELL IS CHILD CARE. AND CHILD CARE IN ONTARIO, WE'RE TOLD, OVER 50 FATHERS OF CHILD CARE CAPACITY OR AROUND 50 FATHERS OF CHILD CARE CAPACITY WILL NOT BE REOPENING IN THE FALL. NOW, IF YOU HAD 50 percent OF YOUR ROADS AND BRIDGES NOT REOPENING YOU'D HAVE A FREAKING PLAN, WOULDN'T YOU? BECAUSE WOMEN CAN'T GET BACK TO WORK... AND IT'S MOSTLY WOMEN WHO CAN'T GET BACK TO WORK. GIVEN THAT THIS IS THE FIRST EVER SHE-SESSION YOU SIMPLY CAN'T MATHEMATICALLY RECOVER ENOUGH WORK OPPORTUNITIES AND EARNING OPPORTUNITIES. AND IF WOMEN WHO AS JENNIFER ACTUALLY POINTED OUT MAKE UP 40 percent OF INCOMES AND HOUSEHOLDS WITH CHILDREN, LOSE THEIR PURCHASING POWER, THE BIGGEST BLOCK OF PURCHASING POWER LOSES STEAM. AND EVERY RECOVERY HAS TO BE FUELED BY DEMAND. SO WE'VE GOT A REAL PROBLEM. AND IT'S NOT JUST ENDEMIC BUT ALSO ENTRENCHED WITH PUBLIC POLICY TO FACILITATE OR AT LEAST AVOID THE COLLAPSE OF SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE THAT PERMITS RECOVERY FOR SOME AND DOES NOT ACTUALLY BLOCK PEOPLE'S ABILITY TO WORK FROM HOME. YOU THINK WOMEN HAVE BEEN DOING MOST OF THE HOME SCHOOLING. AND THE CHILD CARE AS WELL AS THE ONES THAT HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO WORK FROM HOME HAVE BEEN JUGGLING THESE THREE THINGS FOR ALMOST HALF A YEAR NOW. AND IF SCHOOLS END UP NOT BEING SAFE... OR ENOUGH OF THEM... A BUNCH OF THEM WILL THROW IN THEIR TOWEL OR THEIR BOSSES WILL THROW IN THE TOWEL BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT WORKING FULL-TIME OR THEY'RE GETTING FULL-TIME WAGES. EITHER WAY WE'RE LOOKING AT MORE UNEMPLOYMENT NOT LESS UNEMPLOYMENT. WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED WITH DECENT PUBLIC POLICY INITIATIVES.

Steve says TREVIN, WHAT KIND OF POLICY RESPONSE SHOULD THAT REQUIRE, THEREFORE?

The caption changes to "Trevin Stratton, @TrevinStratton."

Trevin says ABSOLUTELY. FIRST OF ALL, I WILL SAY THIS IS NOT JUST A WOMEN'S ISSUE. THIS IS AN ECONOMIC ISSUE. WE'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE A SUSTAINED ECONOMIC RECOVERY UNLESS WOMEN AND ALL DIFFERENT GROUPS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO FULLY PARTICIPATE IN RECOVERY. AND SO WE'VE CERTAINLY BEEN ADVOCATING FOR CHILD CARE. OBVIOUSLY SOME RE-SKILLING INITIATIVES TARGETED TOWARD WOMEN AS WELL. BUT I ALSO WANT TO MAKE THE POINT THAT THE JOB LOSSES ARE VERY BIG, TOO. WE AT THE CANADIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HAVE WORKED TOGETHER WITH STATISTICS CANADA AND WE'VE BEEN COLLABORATING WITH THEM AND PUTTING TOGETHER THE CANADIAN SURVEY ON BUSINESS CONDITIONS THAT ACTUALLY LOOKS AT DIVERSITY-OWNED BUSINESSES WHETHER IT'S WOMEN, INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, PEOPLE OF COLOUR, LGBTQ, ET CETERA. AND THERE IS OBVIOUSLY A GREATER IMPACT ON SOME OF THESE GROUPS AS WELL AND SOME OF THESE GROUPS HAVE TAKEN LONGER TO RECOVER. BUT WE'RE ALSO SEEING SOME OF THESE DIVERSITY-OWNED BUSINESSES BEING ABLE OR MAYBE EVEN MORE INTERESTED IN ADAPTING AS WELL. SOME OF THESE BUSINESS OWNERS ARE USING NEW TECHNOLOGIES, INNOVATION, NEW WAYS TO REACH CUSTOMERS AS WELL AT A GREATER RATE THAN OTHER BUSINESSES, TOO. AND SO APART FROM THE JOB LOSSES, ALSO, YOU KNOW, ANY ECONOMIC RECOVERY IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE BUSINESS-LED. I'M LOOKING AT WHY SUPPORTS NEED TO BE PUT IN PLACE TO SUPPORT DIVERSITY-OWNED BUSINESS IS ALSO GOING TO BE VERY IMPORTANT FOR GOVERNMENTS TO CONSIDER.

Steve says LET ME JUST ASK OUR DIRECTOR SHELDON OSMOND IF YOU WOULD BRING UP THE UNEMPLOYMENT REBOUND GRAPH RIGHT NOW. FOR THOSE WHO ARE ONLY LISTENING ON POD CAST AND NOT WATCHING I'LL DESCRIBE THIS IS A LITTLE BIT.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Employment rebound. September 2019 – August 2020."

A line chart shows that employment fell sharply in April, then increased progressively throughout May, June, July and August, without reaching the same levels as before.

Steve reads data from the slate and says
THE CANADIAN ECONOMY WAS MOVING ALONG TICKETS-Y-BOO UNTIL MARCH, APRIL OF THIS YEAR AND THEN OH, MY GOODNESS DID THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION JUST FALL OFF A CLIFF. BUT AFTER APRIL WE ARE MAKING STEPS TO MAKE THAT HOCKEY STICK, IF YOU LIKE, GO UP. IT'S NOT A K-GRAPH THE WAY JENNIFER DESCRIBED IT EARLIER. THIS GRAPH HERE CERTAINLY SUGGESTING THAT THE EMPLOYMENT PICTURE IS MOVING BACK UP. ADDING 290,000 JOBS IN MAY. 400,000-PLUS IN JUNE. UP TO 1 MILLION IN JULY. 246,000 IN AUGUST. BUT WE ARE STILL 1 MILLION SHORT OF THE PRE-COVID LEVELS. AND I GUESS I WANT TO KNOW, AVERY, YOU KNOW, THIS ISN'T A K-GRAPH. IT IS A HOCKEY STICK. DOES IT GIVE YOU DECENT REASON FOR OPTIMISM GOING FORWARD?

The caption changes to "The hardest hit."

Avery says SO I THINK A LOT OF THE DISCUSSION WAS ABOUT WOMEN AND SO ON. I THINK THERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT ISSUES FOR CHILD CARE. BUT PART OF THE REASON ALSO WOMEN HAVEN'T DONE AS WELL IN THIS REBOUND IS THE SECTOR THAT IS WERE DOWN AND THE SECTORS THAT DIDN'T RECOVER TEND TO EMPLOY MORE WOMEN. SO IF YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT SECTORS LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, ACCOMMODATION, HOSPITALITY, FOOD SERVICES, THOSE ARE THE SECTORS THAT ARE STILL DOWN A LOT. AND, YOU KNOW, WE TALK ABOUT A SECOND WAVE. I THINK THERE ARE SOME EMPLOYMENT IMPLICATIONS THERE. WE WON'T GO BACK TO THE FULL SHUT DOWN WE HAD. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE'VE LEARNED THAT THINGS LIKE MASKS, FOR EXAMPLE, CAN ALLOW SMALL RETAILERS TO BE OPEN WITHOUT CAUSING INFECTION. BUT WE HAVE OPENED SOME THINGS THAT ARE ON THE MARGIN NOT QUITE SO SAFE. SO WE OPENED GYMS. WE REOPENED BARS. WE REOPENED RESTAURANTS FOR INSIDE DINING AND THAT'S GOING TO BECOME THE BIGGER PART OF IT AS WE GET PAST THE PATIO SEASON WHICH, UNFORTUNATELY, IN CANADA, IS PRETTY SHORT AND THE PROBLEM THAT WE MAY END UP IF CASES KEEP ESCALATING AS THEY HAVE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS WE MAY END UP HAVING TO REVERSE SOME OF THAT. SO WE MAY HAVE TO DECIDE, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT IN ORDER TO KEEP SCHOOLS OPEN, WE HAVE TO GET THE COMMUNITY INFECTION RATES DOWN WHICH MEANS THAT PERHAPS BARS CAN'T BE OPEN. OR MAYBE THE CAPACITY OF SOME OF THESE THINGS HAS TO BE LIMITED MORE. SO THE PROBLEM IS GOING TO BE THAT EVEN IF A SECOND WAVE HITS WE ARE NOT GOING BACK TO WHERE WE WERE IN APRIL BUT WE ARE CERTAINLY GOING TO FIND IT A SLOWER PROCESS TO GET THE REST OF THAT HOCKEY STICK REBOUND THAT WE TALKED ABOUT. I THINK WE ARE GOING TO FIND THAT THAT'S TOUGHER GOING. BUT WE DO HAVE TO REMEMBER ONE THING ABOUT ALL OF THIS IS THAT, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO RETAIN SOME OPTIMISM MERE. AND THE OPTIMISM IS THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF VACCINES IN STAGE 3 TRIAL. ANOTHER BIG SLUG OF THEM IN STAGE TWO, STAGE 1. YOU KNOW, UNLIKE SOME OTHER RECESSIONS WE DO KNOW AT THE END OF THIS RECESSION LOOKS LIKE. IT LOOKS LIKE THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY RIDING TO THE RESCUE. SO IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR CHIN UP YOU COULD SAY THAT THE REAL HERE HOE OF THE STORY IS STILL COMING. AND FOR NOW I THINK WE ARE FACING SOME VERY, VERY TOUGH SITUATIONS IN TERMS OF GETTING THE REST OF THOSE PEOPLE BACK TO WORK. BECAUSE THEY WERE WORKING AT AIRLINES AND PEOPLE AREN'T FLYING. THEY WERE WORKING AT CONVENTION CENTRES. THEY MIGHT HAVE BEEN WORKING AT THE AIR CANADA CENTRE. AND IF THERE'S NO CROWD THERE YOU DON'T NEED THE PEOPLE SELLING THE HOT DOGS, EITHER. SO THERE'S A LOT OF JOBS THAT I THINK HAVE GONE AWOL UNTIL THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY HAS THE ANSWERS.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says AVERY, THE MAPLE LEAFS, RAPTORS AND IN PARTICULAR SCOTIABANK WANT ME TO REMIND YOU THAT THEY DON'T CALL IT THE AIR CANADA CENTRE CENTRE ANYMORE.

Avery says I WORK AT A COMPETITOR BANK. BUT WE HAVE A BIG CENTRE ACROSS FROM THAT ARENA IT'S NOT EMPTY BUT ARE PEOPLE GOING TO BE WORKING THERE ANY TIME SOON? AGAIN THERE'S A HOST OF BUSINESSES THAT ARE IN OUR DOWNTOWNS THAT DEPEND ON PEOPLE GOING FOR LUNCH, DEPEND ON BUSINESS PEOPLE TAKING SOMEONE FOR LUNCH NOT EATING AT THEIR KITCHEN AT HOME AND THAT'S ANOTHER HUGE SECTOR THAT'S REALLY IN TROUBLE.

Steve says INDEED. JENNIFER LET ME GIVE YOU THE FIRST KICK AT THESE NUMBERS HERE AND THEY REALLY SPEAK TO THE K-GRAPH THAT YOU INTRODUCED THAT NOTION TO EARLIER. SHELDON, STAT BOARD NUMBER TWO OFF THE TOP HERE. HERE'S THE UNEMPLOYMENT SITUATION IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Viral inequality."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
FOR WHITE CANADIANS IT'S A 9.4 percent UNEMPLOYMENT RATE. BUT IF YOU ARE BLACK, INDIGENOUS, OR A PERSON OF COLOUR, IT'S 15.2 percent. LOW WAGE EMPLOYEES... ADD THAT'S BASICALLY THOSE EARNING 16 dollars AN HOUR OR LESS STANDS AT 87. 4 percent OF PRE-COVID LEVELS. BUT FOR ALL OTHER EMPLOYEES, THE RECOVERY IS NEARLY COMPLETE WE ARE TOLD. EMPLOYMENT AT 99.1 percent. JENNIFER I HEAR THIS ALL THE TIME: WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. WELL, THOSE NUMBERS SEEM TO SHOW THAT WE ARE NOT ALL IN THIS TOGETHER IN QUITE THE SAME WAY IS THAT FAIR TO SAY?

The caption changes to "Jennifer Robson, @JenniferRobson8."

Jennifer says THAT'S EXACTLY THE BIFURCATION I WAS THINKING OF. HIGHER WAGE WORKERS AS I SAID BEFORE HAVE REGAINED ALL OF THEIR LOST HOURS AND WORK. LOW WAGE WORKERS HAVEN'T. AND WHAT WE ARE PARTLY SEEING WITH THOSE NUMBERS IN TERMS OF INDIGENOUS CANADIANS AND PERSONS OF COLOUR IS THE OVERREPRESENTATION OF THOSE CANADIANS IN LOW WAGE WORK. RIGHT? IT'S LIKE THAT SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION AND DIFFICULTY THAT THEY'VE HAD IN TERMS OF ADVANCING IN LABOUR MARKETS. AND THAT'S DEFINITELY PLAYING OUT NOW. YOU KNOW, OTHER GROUPS AS WELL THAT ARE NOT SHARING IN THE SAME KIND OF RECOVERY, YOUTH UNDER 24. NEARLY ONE QUARTER ARE UNEMPLOYED RIGHT NOW. MOMS, YOU KNOW,ARMINE HAS MENTIONED THIS ALREADY. ALREADY BUT MOMS OF SCHOOL AGED KIDS HAVE RECOVERED SOMEWHERE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF HALF... ONLY HALF... OF THEIR LOST HOURS DURING THE SHUT DOWN. SO WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO CLIMB FOR A LOT OF GROUPS. AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE THAT, YEAH, THERE'S THAT INTERSECTION BETWEEN THE SECTOR THAT YOU WORK IN, THE NATURE OF THE WORK THAT YOU DO, WHETHER YOU ARE A SERVICE SECTOR WORKER, THE WAGE THAT YOUR EARNED. BUT ALSO, YOU KNOW, YOUR PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS AND THE KINDS OF DEMANDS THAT YOU HAVE ON YOUR TIME. THAT'S THE ISSUE WITH MOMS. THAT'S WHY CHILD CARE IS SO IMPORTANT FOR THE RECOVERY. ARE WE ALL IN 24 THIS TOGETHER? FUNDAMENTALLY WE ARE. THERE IS NO FULL RECOVERY UNLESS WE BRING EVERYONE ALONG WITH US. WE REALLY NEED TO BE THINKING ABOUT HOW DO WE SUPPORT THOSE WORKERS WHO HAVE NOT ENJOYED THE GAINS OF THE LOW HANGING FRUIT IN THE RECOVERY SO FAR.

Steve says ARMINE I WONDER IF THERE IS ANOTHER PHENOMENON AT PLAY HERE THAT I WOULD LIKE YOU TO SPEAK TO IF IT IS THE CASE. SOMEONE WHO HAS LOST A JOB AS A RESULT OF THIS PANDEMIC AND PERHAPS THEIR EMPLOYER HAS HAD TO INNOVATE IN A VERY INTERESTING AND DRAMATIC WAY IN ORDER TO BRING THE BUSINESS BACK. BUT IN DOING SO, HAS CREATED A SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES WHEREBY THE SKILLS THAT THE PERSON USED TO HAVE FOR THE OLD JOB ARE NOW NO LONGER ADEQUATE FOR THE NEW JOB BECAUSE THERE'S ALL SORTS OF NEW STUFF AT PLAY HERE. AS A RESULT, HAS THERE BEEN A SKILLS GAP CREATED BY THIS PANDEMIC AS WELL?

Armine says I DON'T THINK THE RESPONSE BY BUSINESSES HAS BEEN PRIMARILY USING TECHNOLOGIES OR PROCESSES THAT HAVE FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED THE SKILLS REQUIREMENT. BUT THEY HAVE FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED THE AVAILABILITY OF WORKERS WITHOUT A GUARANTEE OF HOURS. SO THE BIG PHENOMENON THAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE REOPENING HAS BEEN REDUCED HOURS. AND INSECURE HOURS. UNPREDICTABLE HOURS. BECAUSE IN THE WAKE OF EVERY RECESSION, STEVE, EMPLOYERS THAT ARE STRUGGLING WITH SURVIVAL TURN TO ON DEMAND EMPLOYMENT. AND THAT HAS BEEN THE CASE SINCE THE 1980s. THE TRANSFORMATION OF FULL-TIME JOBS TO BOTH THE HEMORRHAGING OF FULL-TIME JOBS REPLACE THE PART-TIME JOBS IN THE 1990s, THE EXPLOSION OF SELF-EMPLOYMENT AS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR, LARGE ENTERPRISES WENT DOWN TO CORE COMPETENCIES. WE'VE SEEN IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN THE... BETWEEN THE LATE 90s AND THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS. IT WAS THE REPLACEMENT OF PERMANENT JOBS WITH TEMPORARY JOBS. AND THIS IS THE FIRST CRISIS WE ARE GOING INTO WHERE ACTS ARE IN EVERYBODY'S POCKET AND WORKERS WANT TO WORK FOR AN APP BECAUSE IT'S A SIDE HUSTLE THAT HELPS THEM STABILIZE INCOME. CONSUMERS WANT IT BECAUSE IT'S FASTER, CHEAPER, MORE CONVENIENT. AND EMPLOYERS WANT IT BECAUSE IT MINIMIZES AND SHIFTS RISK ON TO WORKERS. SO WE ARE GOING TO SEE AN EXPLOSION OF DEMAND FOR ON-DEMAND WORKERS DRIVEN BY THREE FACTORS. AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT BOTH AVERY AND TREVIN HAVE BEEN SAYING, THAT THE TYPES OF JOBS THAT HAVE BEEN LOST WHERE AMONGST... AND JENNIFER SAID IT AS WELL... LOW WAGE WORKERS. A LOT OF THE REASONS WHY THEY'RE LOW WAGE WORKERS IS BECAUSE THE BUSINESSES THEMSELVES WERE OPERATING ON VERY TIGHT MARGINS. WITH LOW PROFITABILITY. THAT WAS AT FULL CAPACITY. NOW THEY'RE BEING FORCED TO TRY AND STRUGGLE THROUGH A PERIOD WHERE LESS VOLUME OF BUSINESS BUT HIGHER COSTS MEANS AN EVEN THINNER MARGIN. MORE BUSINESSES WILL NEVER REOPEN. WILL SHUTTER. AND THE LONGER THIS GOES ON, THE FEWER BUSINESSES CAN HANDLE THIS KIND OF JUST COLLAPSING OF MARGINS. BUT AS I SAID, CHILD CARE IS THE CHOKE POINT ON RECOVERY. AND CHILD CARE IS TREATED AS A MARKET DELIVERED SYSTEM. IT, TOO, IS FUNCTIONING WITH LOSS OF USER FEES AND HIGHER COSTS AND MORE OF THEM WILL SHUTTER AND WERE JUST STANDING BY WATCHING THIS SOCIAL... VITAL SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE BECAUSE OF MARKET FORCES. SO THERE ARE SOME SECTORS THAT WE ACTUALLY IMMEDIATELY NEED TO ADDRESS AND PREVENT FURTHER LOSS IN...

Steve says WE SEEM TO HAVE HAD A PROBLEM WITH ARMINE'S SIGNAL. I THINK WE CERTAINLY GOT THE GIST OF THE MESSAGE SHE WAS TRYING TO DELIVER THERE AS WE TRY TO RE-LATCH. TREVIN MAYBE YOU COULD SPEAK TO THE ISSUE OF THE SKILLS GAP WHICH... DO YOU BELIEVE THAT'S A PHENOMENON HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?

Trevin says SO I DON'T THINK THE PANDEMIC CREATED THE SKILLS GAP. I THINK IT ACCELERATED A SKILLS GAP THAT WAS ALREADY TAKING PLACE. SO, YOU KNOW, IF WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A K-SHAPED RECOVERY WE SEE CERTAIN SECTORS, TECHNOLOGY, SOFTWARE, FINANCIAL SERVICE THAT IS WERE ABLE TO RECOVER MUCH MORE QUICKLY THAN OTHER SECTORS LIKE ACCOMMODATION, FOOD SERVICES, THE ARTS, TRAVEL, TOURISM. MANY BUSINESS THAT IS ALMOST REQUIRE PHYSICAL PRESENCE FOR THEIR BUSINESS MODELS TO WORK. WHAT THAT WILL MEAN IS THAT THE GROWTH DRIVERS GOING FORWARD THROUGHOUT RECOVERY ARE GOING TO BE IN CERTAIN SECTORS WHILE SOME OF THE JOBS THAT WERE LOST HAVE SKILLS THAT WERE MORE SUITED TOWARDS VERY DIFFERENT SECTORS. AND THAT'S THE GAP THAT EXISTS WITHIN THE LABOUR MARKET. AND SO WHAT'S REALLY GOING TO BE NEEDED IS RE-SKILLING AND UP SKILLING INITIATIVES. PART OF THAT SHOULD BE A FORM OF EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WITH A VERY STRONG RE-KILLING AND UP SKILLING COMPONENT. PART OF THAT WILL REQUIRE VERY DETAILED LOCAL LABOUR MARKET INFORMATION WHAT I WILL SKILLS ARE BEING DEMANDED BY EMPLOYERS HOW DO WE FILL THAT GAP THROUGH EDUCATION AND TRAINING.

Steve says ARMINE WE'VE GOT YOU BACK NOW. DID YOU WANT TO FINISH YOUR THOUGHT?

Armine says I GUESS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO ECHO WHAT TREVIN IS SAYING IS THAT THE SKILLS GAP THAT I GUESS YOU WERE REFERRING TO INITIALLY WAS ALWAYS THERE INITIALLY. AND IT'S BEING ACCELERATED AND THAT'S THE K-GAP, THE K-CHART THAT JENNIFER KEEPS TALKING ABOUT. SO HIGHER-PAID WORKERS ARE DOING FINE. LOWER PAID WORKERS ARE NOT. WHETHER WE FIX THAT WITH ENHANCED SKILLS, I DON'T KNOW. BECAUSE WHAT THE PANDEMIC ALSO REVEALED IS THE CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF THE CARE ECONOMY. AS THE SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO THE OTHER PART OF THE ECONOMY. AND IF WE JUST TURN OUR BACK ON THAT WE ARE GOING TO SEE AN EXPLOSION OF EVEN EQUALITY NOT JUST KIND OF LIVING WITH INEQUALITY. WE ARE GOING TO SEE IT GET WORSE AND WORSE AND WE KNOW THAT'S A DRAG ON ECONOMIC POSSIBILITY.

Avery says I HAVE SOMETHING TO ADD ON THAT.

Steve says SURE, AVERY.

Avery says WE ARE HERE IN ONTARIO. THERE IS ONE SECTOR THAT PAYS HIGH WAGES THAT'S REALLY DOWN AND OUT AND THAT'S THE NEGLIGENT SECTOR IN ALBERTA. THEY'RE SUFFERING A DOUBLE RECESSION NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF COVID BUT BECAUSE OF THE COLLAPSE IN GLOBAL OIL PRICES AND IN GENERAL HERE IN ONTARIO I REMEMBER THAT EVEN BEFORE THIS CRISIS HIT, WE WEREN'T DOING ALL THAT WELL IN MANUFACTURING. SO IF YOU GO BACK OVER THE PREVIOUS 20 YEARS, REALLY, WE'VE BEEN LOSING MARKET SHARE NOT JUST TO MEXICO, TO CHINA, BUT TO THE U.S. AS WELL. SO, YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE WHO USED TO WORK AT THE GM PLANT IN OSHAWA DIDN'T LOSE THEIR JOBS BECAUSE OF COVID. THEY LOST THEIR JOBS BECAUSE CANADA WASN'T ALL THAT COMPETITIVE. SO THAT SCENARIO WHERE CERTAINLY A SKILLS ADJUSTMENT IS STILL NEEDED. I WOULD GO AHEAD AND SAY ONE OTHER THING AS WELL IS THAT I THINK CANADA HAS TO AT LEAST PAT ITSELF ON THE BACK THAT WE RECOGNIZE PRETTY QUICKLY THAT THOSE PEOPLE IN THE SORT OF GIG ECONOMY JOBS, THAT THE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE SYSTEM WE HAD DIDN'T ADDRESS THEM BECAUSE THEY WERE LARGELY SELF-EMPLOYED. WE CREATED A NEW PROGRAM IN A HURRY. WE'VE EXTENDED THAT WITH ANOTHER REPLACEMENT FOR THAT CERB PROGRAM. AND THAT'S REALLY BEEN REALLY IMPORTANT NOT JUST FOR THE PEOPLE GETTING THE BENEFITS BUT ACTUALLY FOR THOSE PEOPLE IN THOSE HIGHER PAID JOB THAT IS ARE STILL WORKING. BECAUSE WHAT WE PREVENTED WAS A COLLAPSE IN SPENDING BY THOSE UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE. WE GAVE THEM MONEY TO SPEND AND THAT, IN TURN, KEPT THE ECONOMY FROM FALLING INTO AN OUTRIGHT DEPRESSION. SO WE'VE DONE A BETTER JOB ACTUALLY THAN THE U.S. WHICH IS NOW STILL HE DEBATING WHETHER THEY'RE GOING TO EXTEND SOME OF THESE SPECIAL BENEFITS IN KEEPING THE SPENDING LEVEL UP IN THE ECONOMY BY PEOPLE WHO AREN'T WORKING. THAT'S NOT A GREAT LONG-TERM SOLUTION BUT AS A TEMPORARY FIX IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT NOR THE ECONOMY TO FROM A COMPLETE COLLAPSE.

Steve says JENNIFER, AVERY HAS HIT ON WHAT'S UNDOUBTEDLY I GUESS THE HAPPIEST ACRONYM IN CANADA, THAT'S CERB, THE CANADA MERGE RESPONSE BENEFIT WHICH WE KNOW IS GOING TO BE WINDING DOWN SOON. REPLACED BY SOMETHING ELSE. I GUESS I WANT TO ASK YOU: REPLACED BY WHAT?

The caption changes to "A post-CERB Canada."

Jennifer says RIGHT. SO EVERYTHING I'M GOING TO SAY RIGHT NOW IS ALL CONTINGENT ON PARLIAMENT ACTUALLY PASSING LEGISLATION TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. SO THE ONE THING WE DO KNOW IS THAT THE WAGE SUBSIDY GOING TO REMAIN IN PLACE AND EMPLOYERS ARE STILL GOING TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS THAT UNTIL AT LEAST LATE NOVEMBER. THAT'S A GOOD THING IN TERMS OF ANTICIPATING THE POTENTIAL FOR A SECOND WAVE BECAUSE THE WAGE SUBSIDY WAS ONE OF THE PROGRAMS THAT I THINK WAS PROBABLY TOO LATE TO BE LAUNCHED TO ACTUALLY HAVE THE IMPACT THAT WAS DESIRED. BUT THE BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS, WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SAYS THEY'RE GOING TO DO IS ESSENTIALLY A TWO-PART PROCESS. NUMBER ONE THEY'RE CHANGING THE RULES FOR E.I. TO TRY TO GET AS MANY PEOPLE INTO THE E.I. SYSTEM. SO THEY'RE CHANGING THE ELIGIBILITY STANDARD TO MAKE IT EASIER TO QUALIFY IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF INSURED HOURS. THEY'RE GIVING PEOPLE A ONE-TIME GRANT SO THAT IF YOU ARE SHORT ON HOURS THEY'LL TOP THOSE UP FOR YOU TO BRING YOU TO THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATION. THEY'RE PUTTING IN A MINIMUM FLOOR. SO IT'S A BENEFIT OF AT LEAST 400 dollars A WEEK FOR UP TO 26 WEEKS. AND THEN THEY'RE ALSO PUTTING IN PLACE A PARALLEL STRUCTURE BECAUSE EVEN IF YOU DO ALL OF THAT, YOU ARE STILL NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET EVERYBODY INTO THE E.I. SYSTEM JUST BY VIRTUE OF HOW WE ACTUALLY RUN THE SYSTEM. SO THERE'S GOING TO BE A PARALLEL THING PREDOMINANTLY FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SELF-EMPLOYED OR OTHERWISE DON'T HAVE INSURED HOURS... INSURED HOURS IN THE E.I. ACCOUNT. AND THAT'S GOING TO BE THE CANADA RECOVERY BENEFIT. I HAVE HEARD PEOPLE CALL IT SON OF CERB OR CERB 2.0. IT WILL BE A BIT LIKE HOW CERB HAS BEEN WORKING IN THAT YOU APPLY FOR IT THROUGH THE CANADA REVENUE AGENCY. BUT PART OF IT MIGHT HAVE TO BE REPAYABLE DEPENDING ON YOUR TOTAL EARNINGS. THEY'RE ALSO PUT BEING IN PLACE A COUPLE OF OTHER SPECIAL BENEFITS BECAUSE WE ARE RECOGNIZING THAT, LOOK, WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC. YOU MIGHT VERY WELL GET SICK. YOU MIGHT NEED TO TAKE PAID SICK LEAVE OR TAKE SOME TIME OFF FROM WORK AND WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE GOING TO WORK IF THEY'RE ILL. ALSO AS ARMINE HAS BEEN POINTING OUT, THE SUPPLY OF CHILD CARE IS VERY PRECARIOUS AT THE MOMENT. VERY LIMITED AT THE MOMENT. SCHOOLS IN THE PROVINCE ARE STARTING TO REOPEN BUT WE REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW THIS IS GOING TO GO. THERE IS A LOT OF UP CERTAINTY AND CONCERN THERE THAT FLU SEASON IS UPON US. KIDS GET THE SNIFFLES. TEASE VERY LIKELY AS A PARENT THAT YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO SPEND SOME TIME AS A PARENT AT HOME BECAUSE YOUR KIDS AREN'T GOING TO SCHOOL. BUT THERE IS ALSO A NEW CARE ELEMENT THAT IS BEING PUT IN PLACE AS WELL. ALL OF THESE THINGS WILL BE TEMPORARY MEASURES. WHAT WE STILL NEED IS LONG-TERM, SUSTAINABLE, SYSTEMIC REFORM TO SYSTEMS LIKE EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE SO THAT THEY ACTUALLY FUNCTION FOR THE WAY THE LABOUR MARKET IS IN THE 21st CENTURY.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says TREVIN IS ANYBODY THINKING ABOUT THAT RIGHT NOW IN THE WAY THEY NEED TO BE FOR THOSE LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS?

Trevin says ABSOLUTELY. THESE CONVERSATIONS ARE DEFINITELY TAKING PLACE WITHIN OTTAWA POLICY CIRCLES RIGHT NOW. WHAT'S VERY IMPORTANT IS THAT BOTH BUSINESS AND LABOUR HAVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE SINCE THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT PAY FOR EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. 100 percent OF IT RIGHT NOW BEING EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES. WHEN IT COMES TO CERB ITSELF I THINK IT FULFILS THREE VERY IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO CONSUMER SPENDING THAT WAS VERY IMPORTANT. IT ENSURES THAT CANADIANS WERE SAFE FROM A HEALTH PERSPECTIVE AS WELL AND WERE ABLE TO STAY HOME. AND IT ALSO SERVED THE FUNCTION OF CANADIANS BEING ABLE TO PAY THEIR BILLS AND PUT FOOD ON THEIR TABLE. THAT BEING SAID, IT'S STILL A STOP-GAP MEASURE. FULL ECONOMIC RECOVERY DOES NOT NECESSARILY INVOLVE, YOU KNOW, HAVING EVERYONE ON SUBSIDIES. YOU NEED TO HAVE THAT TRANSITION FROM SUBSIDIES TO AN ECONOMIC GROWTH PLAN OVER TIME. AND, YOU KNOW, MOST CANADIANS ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO RETURN TO THEIR NORMAL LIVES UNTIL THEY'RE GAINFULLY EMPLOYED. SO THAT IS REALLY WASTE GOING TO DRIVE RECOVERY IS BUSINESS-LED GROWTH. YOU KNOW, EVERY RECOVERY IS GOING TO INVOLVE JOB GROWTH. AND EVERYONE IS GOING TO RECOVER WHEN BUSINESS RECOVERS. THAT'S GOING TO BE VERY IMPORTANT, TOO, LOOKING AHEAD IS HOW DO WE ACTUALLY CREATE ECONOMIC GROWTH APART FROM THE SUPPORT THAT IS HAVE BEEN PUT IN PLACE?

Steve says ARMINE, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT DEFICITS A YEAR AGO YOU AND I WERE HAVING A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS RUNNING A 30 BILLION dollar DEFICIT WE WOULD HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE WERE PLENTY OF PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A NASTY BROKEN PROMISE AND WHO THOUGHT A 30 BILLION dollar DEFICIT WAS OUTRAGEOUS. WELL, THE DEFICIT'S NOW TEN TIMES BIGGER THAN THAT... MORE THAN TEN TIMES BIGGER THAN THAT AND EVERYBODY SEEMS TO THINK THIS WAS A REASONABLE RESPONSE TO A GLOBAL PANDEMIC. WHAT HAS THIS TAUGHT US ABOUT THE NATURE OF DEBT AND DEFICIT HOW MUCH WE CAN RUN, WHEN WE CAN RUN IT? HOW QUICKLY WE HAVE TO STOP RUNNING THE IN YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Armine says I WOULD LIKE TO GO BACK TO WHAT TREVIN SAID ABOUT A BUSINESS-LED RECOVERY. BUSINESSES HAVE NO BUSINESS UNLESS THERE'S CONSUMERS. SO WHAT WE'VE LEARNED IS... AND WHAT WE ARE LEARNING FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD... I WAS JUST MODERATING A SESSION AS PAST PRESIDENT OF THE CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR BUSINESS ECONOMICS, I WAS JUST MODERATING A SESSION WITH SCOTIA BANK'S ASIA DESK ON HOW THEY'RE DEALING WITH RECOVERY AND DEFICIT ISSUES. AND IT IS VERY MUCH CONSUMER-LED IN MOST JURISDICTIONS. BECAUSE WITHOUT CONSUMER PURCHASING POWER, YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS. SO DEALING WITH... AND THIS IS RELATED TO YOUR QUESTION, STEVE, IN THE SENSE THAT GOING INTO THE PANDEMIC, CANADIAN CONSUMERS HAD THE HIGHEST HOUSEHOLD DEBT LEVEL EVER IN HISTORY. AND BUSINESSES, BECAUSE OF THIS PANDEMIC, ARE FACING A TSUNAMI OF FORECLOSURES WITHOUT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. AND WE MAY STILL SEE A TSUNAMI OF CORPORATE DEBT IN THE WAKE OF THE PANDEMIC. SO THAT LEAVES IT TO GOVERNMENT TO DO SOMETHING. AND, OF COURSE, THE FEDERAL LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT IS THE LOWEST RISK AND CONSEQUENTLY THE LOWEST COST DEBT IN THE ENTIRE ECOSYSTEM OF DEBT. AND WE KNOW DEBT WILL RISE BECAUSE OF PANDEMIC. IT'S GOING TO RISE SOME HOW EITHER THROUGH HOUSEHOLDS, THROUGH BUSINESSES, THROUGH MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS, PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS. SO IT IS ABSOLUTELY APPROPRIATE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS DONE ALL THE HEAVY LIFTING AND SHALL CONTINUE TO DO SO UNTIL MOST OF US GET BACK ON OUR FEET. BUT HOW THAT REBUILDING TAKES PLACE... MAE WEST SAID IT ISN'T HOW BIG IT IS IT'S HOW YOU USE T HOW THE BORROWED MONEY IS USED TO REBUILD BACK GDP AND HOW IS SEEING WHAT THE RETURNS ARE ON THE SPENDING THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MAKES NOW HAS TO GO BEYOND JUST A HOLDING PATTERN THAT BOTH AVERY AND TREVIN HAVE POINTED OUT ARE WHAT INCOME SUPPORTS ARE. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT HOW JOBS ARE COMING BACK. AND JOBS WILL COME BACK AS A FUNCTION OF CONSUME OTHER DEMAND... CONSUMER DEMAND. SO IT'S A VERY TIGHT CYCLE HERE AND WE SHOULDN'T BE AFRAID OF DEFICIT WE SHOULD BE AFRAID OF LACK OF GROWTH. AND WE SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT WHAT WE ARE SPENDING ON IS ACTUALLY SPURRING GROWTH NOT ONLY FOR THE SHORT TERM BUT FOR THE MEDIUM AND LONG TERM.

The caption changes to "Producer: Eric Bombicino, @ebombicino."

Steve says I'M PRETTY SURE THAT'S THE FIRST TIME MAE WEST HAS BEEN QUOTED ON THIS PROGRAM AND ARMINE, I'M PRETTY SURE SHE WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT DEBT AND DEFICIT WHEN SHE SPOKE THAT QUOTE ALL THOSE YEARS AGO. ANY WAY THAT'S OUR TIME I WANT TO THANK ARMINE YALNIZYAN, TREVIN STRATTON, JENNIFER ROBINSON, AND AVERY SHENFELD FOR JOINING US ON "THE AGENDA." TONIGHT. STAY SAFE, EVERYBODY AND BE WELL.

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