Toronto, Canada, June 2020 – Canada’s Finance Minister highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on women, youth and vulnerable communities during a virtual roundtable on the impact of COVID-19 on Canada’s urban economy, organized by UN-Habitat and the Urban Economy Forum.

The Forum brought together mayors, city leaders, financial institutions, academics and professions to discuss for a discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on Canada’s urban economy and actions and priorities going forward.  

The Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, emphasized the need for discussions with provinces to support municipalities to manage the recovery. Other speakers highlighted the Government’s role in providing evaluative tools to analyse the priorities and needs of cities leading to a better understanding of efficient resource distribution.

UN-Habitat’s Head of Knowledge and Innovation, Eduardo Lopez Moreno, stressed the importance of innovation and of a societal response based on new forms of solidarity. The Mayor of Calgary Naheed Nenshi, pointed to the need to think creatively and articulate short-term solutions during the recovery from COVID-19, with longer term actions to create resilient cities.

Michel Tremblay, Senior Vice-President, Policy and Innovation of Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation said housing was at the centre of Canada’s efforts to rebuild the economy in a post-COVID-19 situation. Adam Vaughan, a Canadian Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing) called for the Government and cities to pay special attention to the eradication of homelessness.

The outcome of the roundtable will be presented at the second Urban Economy Forum in October which will mark the 75th anniversary of United Nations. The inaugural Urban Economy Forum, an initiative that focuses on urban economics and municipal finance, was held on World Cities Day 2019 in Toronto the Forum has its headquarters.