A new Parliament is fast approaching, and the Trudeau government’s COVID plans will soon be put to the test. We don’t yet know what’s in next week’s Speech from the Throne, but we do know one major change the government’s introducing: the transition away from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and toward Employment Insurance and a trio of new benefit programs.

With six months of the pandemic behind us, now’s the time to stop and reflect on the federal response so far. Have the support programs done their job? Are the proposed changes in the public interest? And what can we learn from the labour market effects of past crises as we retool our response to the current one?

This week on the podcast, two labour economists help us figure it all out. First, we have Mikal Skuterud, an associate professor in economics at the University of Waterloo who’s also affiliated with the Canadian Labour Economics Forum. He gives us the rundown on the new federal benefits and EI changes, and explains how economic insights can help make sense of pandemic-era policy.

Next, René Morissette, research manager in the Social Analysis and Modelling Division of Statistics Canada, joins us to share insights from his June IRPP study, Turbulence or Steady Course? Permanent Layoffs in Canada, 1978-2016.

Download for free. New episodes every other Wednesday. Tweet your questions and comments to @IRPP or @jbugiel. 

Photo: Shutterstock/By kentoh

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