December 16th, 2020

Economic Recovery Task Force could have been created in fall sitting of the legislature

HALIFAX -- The NDP Caucus has legislation prepared that would create an economic recovery task force to develop a plan for the economy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Had the legislature sat this fall, the NDP would have tabled legislation to establish the task force and have it report back by April 1, 2021.

“This impact of this year’s pandemic and all that has gone with it is incredibly far-reaching. We should be thoughtful and deliberate about how the government provides stimulus and investments to deal with the economic recovery from COVID-19,” said NDP Finance spokesperson Claudia Chender. “Even before the pandemic, we needed to come up with a wide-ranging plan to deal with the climate emergency and how we would transform our economy to include more green jobs. Now we need a group of experts to guide our recovery from COVID-19 and make sure the climate is considered as well.”

The mandate of the task force would be to advise the government on the impacts of COVID-19 on the province’s economy, including the disproportionate effect on women and racialized communities, the prospects for recovery from those impacts, including opportunities for change, and the best use of government supports. Investments in infrastructure, child care, local food and energy production, and arts and culture could create thousands of green jobs in Nova Scotia.

“As we heal and recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the climate crisis will continue to intensify, threatening the security and livelihoods of Nova Scotians in the years and generations to come,” said Dr. Kate Ervine, Associate Professor in International Development Studies and a Faculty Associate with SMU's School of the Environment. “COVID-19 has been devastating, but it provides us with an opportunity to reject business as usual and to build a transformative green future for all. An economic recovery task force will provide the kind of thoughtful, sound, and reasoned guidance that is needed to make this a reality.”

The NDP bill would create a task force with representatives from environmental organizations, industry and business, labour unions, African Nova Scotian organizations, Mi’kmaq communities, colleges and universities, as well as experts on education and economics, and an MLA from each of the three parties.