Peter St. Onge, Senior Fellow at the MEI, with Maria Lily Shaw, Economist at the MEI, published a report with Institut Economique de Montréal called "Second Time's the Harm: Repeated Lockdowns Risk Turning a Temporary Downturn into an Ongoing Depression" a day following the announcement.
Unemployment in Canada is at its "highest level since the Great Depression."
According to the report, at 13.7%, Canada is experiencing its highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression.
It is estimated that 90% of businesses have experienced a devastating drop in revenue, at an average of 70%, and have cut their staff by at least half.
10% of businesses have had to let go of their entire team altogether.
A survey released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) indicated that 70% of small businesses were worried about the second wave and possible lockdowns. 56% of them stated uncertainty of their ability to survive.
Dan Kelly, CFIB president, says that he received over 60,000 calls from business owners, with some expressing their fear of suicidal ideation should their business have to fold.
Overall, studies have shown that Canadians, in general, are feeling pessimistic about the state of the economy and don't see the end of this Depression-like period coming any time soon.
Extended lockdowns allegedly have a number of "dangers."
The report explains that economic analysis suggests that continuous and repeated lockdowns actually do more harm than good, despite the intention of using them to "save" these small businesses.
We're told that a one-time lockdown causes damage to overall wealth, but economic incentives remain high. However, ongoing or repeated lockdowns, even if with just a few restrictions, lead to small businesses operating with a sense of looming disaster, the report reveals.
In fact, St. Onge compares the state of small businesses across the country to a natural disaster and explains that the longer these lockdowns persist, the more impactful their damage.
The report doubts that lockdowns have many benefits in the long run.
Citing a study by Dominik A. Moser et al, St. Onge suggests that these lockdowns, despite trying to save people from dying of COVID-19, may actually be killing more people, due to the lockdowns' impact on substance abuse, overdose and suicide, among others. The report refers to this as the "disease of despair."
"We have long known that mass unemployment and poverty kill, and we should not lose sight of this when it comes to dealing with COVID-19," says St. Onge.
The researchers bring up the fact that Canadians have never experienced a lockdown of this size, so it is unknown the exact outcome of what it can do to the economy. However, over seven decades of empirical research into economic theory allow academics to say, with assurance, that lockdowns of any size can have significant negative effects on the economy and on society.
St. Onge finishes the report by posing the idea of ending lockdowns overall and, instead, putting resources to protecting vulnerable populations from the virus and from "costly and counterproductive policies."
While there's a myriad of possible reasons as to why Trudeau is ahead in the province, his handling of the pandemic could be the biggest. Among the Quebecers polled, 46% believed that health care is the most pressing issue in the upcoming election and 53% said the current prime minister "has performed well on pandemic management."
Politics and the Fourth Wave: As concern over COVID rises, are the Liberals poised to benefit?… https://t.co/znhujEMXZU
"We, the undersigned, demand that the Government of Quebec publicly reject, as of now, the idea of a mandatory vaccination passport and that it commit itself to do like the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has done, that is to say, prohibit the obligation to present a vaccination passport in order to attend certain events and practice certain activities," the petition states.
Samson, a former Coalition Avenir Québec member who switched sides in June, held a press conference about the petition alongside Conservative Party of Quebec leader Eric Duhaime on August 12. They explained that the party had already collected 133,000 signatures on a previous petition that did not meet the criteria of the National Assembly.
"We reviewed the wording [...] So we're going to ask these hundreds of thousands of people to re-sign their petition on the National Assembly website, and we're going to invite Quebecers who don't agree with the vaccine passport to come forward as well," Samson said.
The petition, which was posted to the National Assembly website on August 12, had garnered more than 75,000 signatures at the time this article was published.
Mary Simon's approval rating is lower in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada, a poll released Wednesday showed, because the new governor general can't speak French.
An Angus Reid Institute poll of 2,049 Canadians found only 49% of Quebecers approve of her appointment compared to 74% of respondents in the rest of the country.
"Despite being from Nunavik (the Inuit homeland in Northern Quebec), and having been awarded the [province's] highest distinction, many Quebecers remain unconvinced Mary Simon is the best choice for governor general due to her lack of fluency in French," stated the Angus Reid Institute.
"Support is cleaved along linguistic divides in the only majority Francophone province in Canada," it continued, as only 40% of Quebecers whose first language is French approve of her appointment compared to 81% of English speakers.
Though Simon, the country's first Indigenous governor general, is not currently fluent in French, she has promised to learn, Angus Reid stated.