New federal council to seek input from “industrial sectors” on challenges created by COVID-19

navdeep bains

The federal government is establishing an Industry Strategy Council, aimed to allow industry members to share challenges faced by different sectors across Canada’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council will be chaired by Monique Leroux, former president of Desjardins.

This council will act as an advisory board to assess COVID-19’s impact on industries and broaden the government’s understanding of specific sectoral pressures. The government will bring on senior business leaders to communicate with the government as it assesses economic policy.

The council is also expected to build on the federal government’s existing model for collaboration between industry and government, known as the Economic Strategy Tables. These tables are chaired by senior industry members from advanced manufacturing, health and biosciences, agri-food, cleantech, digital industries, tourism, and resources sectors.

In a Friday press conference with Canada’s federal ministers, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains announced that two new tables will be added in order to serve Canada’s retail and transportation sectors. These tables are being added in response to “particular pressures related to the pandemic.”

Bains said the government is attempting to take a “proactive and strategic approach” in bringing the private sector to understand the “scope and depth” of sectoral challenges.

“By leveraging the existing and trusted Economic Strategy Tables, the Industry Strategy Council will provide a forum for industry leaders to share their perspectives regarding the challenges they are facing as a result of COVID-19,” said Bains.

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Over the next 90 days, the council will meet regularly to identify and understand sectoral pressures that are common across the industries. The council will be chaired by Monique Leroux, former president of Desjardins, and other members of the council will be announced in the coming days.

“Monique Leroux has one of the most distinguished careers in Canadian finance, and her impressive background makes her the ideal business leader to chair this council,” Bains said.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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