rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Pandemic budget: the bumpy road to recovery

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Off the Hill graphic

We know that the pandemic has exacerbated existing race, gender, and class inequities. The road to pandemic recovery will undoubtedly be smoother for some more than others. Is the government doing enough to account for this?

Budget 2021 was the first budget in two years and the first pandemic budget we've seen from the federal government. It offered key insights into the Liberal government's roadmap for a pandemic recovery.

This budget was also unique in that, according to some polls, the majority of Canadians barely even noticed it. Consumed with daily pandemic news, it's easy to see how it slipped by, but did that let the Liberal government off the hook?

The last year has been enormously more difficult for BIPOC communities, for women bearing the brunt of care work, and for undervalued yet rhetorically "essential" front-line workers. Without radical change to the systems of oppression that enabled the disproportionate illness and death of the working class and those who inhabit its intersections, the road to recovery will be a much smoother ride for some Canadians than others.

We need to talk about why that is, whether the government is doing an adequate job of making our pandemic recovery equitable, and where we go from here.

That's why we're pleased to welcome you to May's edition of Off the Hill: The bumpy road to pandemic recovery. Join us for a live discussion on Wednesday, May 26 at 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET on Zoom. To be able to ask questions and engage with our panelists directly, be sure to register here in advance. 

Join our expert panelists for a real and honest assessment of budget 2021. Who was the pandemic budget really for? Did it deliver for you?

This month's Off the Hill panel is pleased to welcome: 

Leah Gazan is member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre. She is currently the NDP Critic for Children, Families, and Social Development, as well as the Deputy Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. Leah has been a champion in the fight for a permanent guaranteed livable basic income in Canada and earlier this year was named to Maclean's 2021 Power List. She was a prominent Winnipeg lead during Idle No More and co-founded the #WeCare campaign aimed at building public will to end violence against Indigenous women and girls. Leah is a member of Wood Mountain Lakota Nation, located in Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 territory.

Chuka Ejeckam is a writer and policy researcher, and works in the labour movement in British Columbia. The son of Igbo immigrants to Canada, Chuka grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His work focuses on inequity and inequality, drug policy, structural racism, and labour. He is on Twitter @ChukaEjeckam.

Karl Nerenberg is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and filmmaker, working in both English and French languages. He joined rabble as parliamentary correspondent in 2011.

Robin Browne is Off the Hill's co-host. Robin is a communications professional and the co-lead of the 613-819 Black Hub, living in Ottawa. His blog is The "True" North.

Libby Davies is Off the Hill's co-host. Libby is author of Outside In: a Political Memoir. She served as the MP for Vancouver East from 1997-2015, and is former NDP deputy leader and House leader, and is recipient of the Order of Canada.

In case you missed it, check out last month's Off the Hill panel: Crunch time in Ottawa

Please consider giving what you can to support rabble's parliamentary reporting and our politics webinars. Make a one-time or monthly donation at rabble.ca/donate. Your support enables us to expand our online programming and to offer more interactive discussions.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.