The Current

Remaking a living: Surviving the COVID-19 economy, a special edition of The Current

In a special edition, The Current looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, and how Canadian workers and businesses are adapting to immense change.
Matt Galloway is the host of CBC Radio's The Current. (CBC)

Full Episode Transcript

Today on The Current, Oct. 29, 2020: 

In a special edition, The Current looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, and how Canadian workers and businesses are adapting to immense change.

Unemployment figures may be improving, but some industries remain hard hit. We talk to Chris Brewer, a laid-off WestJet flight attendant in Vancouver who is making ends meet working for FedEx; Saly Davis, whose salon near Moncton, N.B., recently went through a second shutdown; and Jeremy Jestican, an out-of-work oil and gas industry scaffolder who worries about the mental health impact of all this uncertainty.

For many, the novelty of #WFHIS (working from home, in sweatpants) has given way to questions about a permanent shift. Stewart Butterfield, CEO of business communications company Slack, discusses how his company met demand when the working world went remote, and whether the era of the downtown office will ever return.

Can old ideas help us get through this modern financial storm? We hear from some Canadians involved in a susu, a traditional African and Caribbean savings club, where friends save together and share the wealth. Ginelle Skerritt, a banker lady for eight susu groups in the Toronto area, says they're "a way of empowering our communities to move and to do things with money" — without having to rely on formal banking structures.

Is there a better way forward for the Canadian economy? We talk to Anita McGahan, a professor of strategic management and global affairs at the University of Toronto, about how COVID-19 has fast-tracked change for some industries and workers — and how Canada might seize on this moment, and make the most of it.

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