COVID-19 Recovery: What we heard from the Leadnow Community

Leadnow is a people-powered organization. We know that we make our best decisions when everyone in our community has a chance to weigh in.

This month, thousands of Leadnow members came together to shape our plans to campaign for a Just Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic -- through a massive Community Survey and our first-ever virtual Community Town Hall. Now, we’re excited to share the results.

Community Survey Results


An incredible 17,000 Leadnow members filled out our Community Survey, and some clear themes emerged. 

Leadnow members continue to feel worried about the pandemic, and while some feel the response from the government has been appropriate, a growing segment of members feel the government needs to do more. 

Fighting for a fair economy where everyone has enough to pay their bills, and transitioning away from fossil fuels are top priorities for Leadnow members as we recover from COVID-19. 

We’re now developing strategies to make progress towards these two goals at the same time, because we think they can go hand in hand. Tackling the climate crisis is going to require a total overhaul of our economy, and we must ensure that the new economy we build together is one that works for everyone — not just the super-rich.

And members clearly voted in favour of joining forces with like minded organizations to achieve these goals -- so we are joining an alliance of organizations to work together for a Just Recovery from this pandemic.

Thanks to all 17,000 Leadnow members who weighed in on this important survey!

Community Town Hall

Town halls are one of our best tools for bringing people together to weigh in on how Leadnow can best focus our efforts. But the necessary physical distancing of the COVID era would make a traditional town hall unsafe.

So we thought: why not do it online?

And so, on May 6th, we assembled a team of over 20 volunteer facilitators and invited the Leadnow community to our first-ever digital town hall. For an hour and a half, hundreds of Leadnow members gathered online to talk about their collective vision for a better post-COVID world.

The results below are the outcome of dozens of breakout groups answering two questions: 
  • What is your vision for the kind of post-COVID world you’d like to see us build together
  • What concrete policies or actions should we campaign FOR this year? What actions or policies should we try to prevent?

These answers will help guide our strategy in coming weeks and months to campaign and win a just and equitable recovery from the crisis.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the town hall:

The system is broken. Many recognized that while COVID 19 is the immediate crisis, it is only exposing and exacerbating existing flaws in our system. Our unequal economic system has created a society where many people working in essential industries are paid rock-bottom wages -- and they're forced to continue working even when it means putting their lives at risk -- while a wealthy few continue to collect profits in safety.

The COVID crisis and the climate crisis have a lot in common - and common solutions. Both crises require solutions that respect science, build resilience, and deliver equitable support for marginalized communities. Many participants explicitly called for a “Green New Deal” - a massive investment in a sustainable economy that would address the dual crises of inequality and climate change. 

No bailouts for oil and gas CEOs or wealthy billionaires. Leadnow members want a just recovery to prioritize people, not fossil fuel executives and billionaires.  Several groups also noted that the super wealthy have been getting a free ride for a long time, and it’s time for the 1% to pay their fair share and close the obscene gap between those at the top and everyone else.

Universal Basic Income. Nearly every group arrived at the idea of a universal basic income - guaranteed, equitable, monthly payments to everyone in Canada, regardless of employment status - as a way to reduce inequality, build resilience, and ensure that in a crisis, the economy can continue to function and people can take care of themselves without putting their lives at risk.

Supporting the people in our communities who are most vulnerable. Low-wage workers with zero paid sick time are more at risk of getting sick, or losing their jobs and income in this pandemic. Indigenous people often face severe shortfalls in access to healthcare due to decades of inadequate support. People who are homeless can’t “stay at home”. For-profit long term care homes, have cut corners and crammed their elderly clients into infection danger zones - all while paying staff so little that they need to take second and third jobs, creating even more risk of transmission. Those who are most impacted by this crisis, deserve more support. 

There is no going back. One thing stood out in group after group. This crisis has made clear that our old path was not sustainable. There will be no “back to normal”, because “normal” is what got us here. It didn’t have to be this bad. Leadnow’s members are ready to deliver a just recovery that puts people first, delivers long-term sustainability, and converts an economy of exploitation and extraction to one built for resilience and regeneration. Normal is cancelled. Renewal has begun.

Thank you to everyone who filled out our survey and attended the Community Townhall.  Your input is key to crafting a strong strategy to win a just recovery coming out of the Covid 19 crisis. 

We’ll be in touch with next steps!

Thanks for all that you do, 

Simran, Jolan, Rachel, Tim