2021 OECD Economic Surveys: Canada 2021

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Canada 2021

Canada’s vaccine rollout is bringing the prospect of an end to the COVID-19 crisis and a pick-up in output growth is expected. An ultra-low policy rate and other monetary measures continue to provide substantial support for the economy and fiscal support for households and businesses has been substantial. However, risks and uncertainties remain large, notably around how quickly restrictions can be reduced as vaccine rollout proceeds, and how rapidly households will unwind precautionary saving. The COVID-19 crisis has also brought to light shortfalls in welfare programmes. Building back with a sustainable economic recovery will involve challenges for Canada’s policy on greenhouse-gas reduction and will reinforce the need to tackle some longstanding issues in welfare programmes and in impediments to business productivity.

This Survey’s in-depth examination of well-being finds that Canada has scope to make greater use of quantitative indicators in policymaking. This could help frame policy agendas and benchmark progress. Healthcare, childcare, affordable housing and support for Indigenous peoples are among the areas with room for improved policies that can lead to improvements in well-being.


English Also available in: French

Key Policy Insights

Contagion and fatalities from COVID-19 have been less severe in Canada than in the hardest-hit countries, and vaccine rollout is underway. However, the economy remains heavily affected by the crisis with the latest round of containment measures slowing the recovery in activity and employment (). The crisis has highlighted economic and social strengths. Canada’s federal system of government proved capable of a rapid and co-ordinated policy response. Low public debt prior to the crisis has helped provide headroom for substantial tax and spending measures. The acceleration in teleworking and use of online services during the crisis has opened the door to new ways of working and living for the future. Reduced noise and air pollution during confinement raised environmental awareness. The prospect of a structural downshift in demand and employment in some sectors is creating potential for more green jobs and investment.

English Also available in: French


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