Will we become a nation of savers again, as we did in the wake of the Great Depression?
Will our consumption patterns change? Do we really need a two-year supply of toilet paper?
Will governments keep an ongoing list of critical infrastructure and ‘essential services’ that adapts to new innovations and public demands?
Will the COVID-19 crisis speed up the adoption of online services, such as online shopping, e-learning, food delivery and virtual meetings?
Will it speed up the demise of cash transactions in favour of digital transactions?
How does it change public policy discussions on trade, climate change, emergency preparedness, stimulus spending, income support, national defence, border security, healthcare, international affairs, travel and tourism, research funding, deficits, tax relief and parliamentary reform?
As if to make the point, in the middle of writing this I was invited to join an online video conversation with former Ottawa political staffers on an app called Houseparty. I spent 20 minutes talking with them, mostly about the crisis. The video and audio were very good, better than phone lines have been lately. It was a fun break from work and a peek over the prison fence at the big world that we used to take for granted. I expect we’ll all be doing a lot more video conferencing in the future.
The world of government relations looks set to change too. We’ll all need to change along with it.
-Hon. Monte Solberg, Principal, New West Public Affairs