Editorial: A new measure of Canada’s COVID misery

When it comes to economic and social misery, there is nothing quite like a global pandemic. Service industries across the country will attest to that.

One of the upsides of misery, however, is that sufferers gain a new appreciation of normalcy once they have come out the other side of the pain inflicted by misery.

The burning question in Canada now is: when will the country get to that other side?

According to the most recent update of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s MLI COVID Misery Index, Canada still has a long way to go to achieve COVID relief.

That distance has been extended by an anti-vaccination faction that appears to be inoculated against common sense and the country’s relatively poor economic performance relative to the 14 peer countries included in the MLI index.

For starters, Canada’s strategy of spending its way out of the pandemic has not paid the dividends that senior levels of government have banked on.

The country scored a dismal F grade on the index’s ranking of COVID-19 economic impact. That’s the worst of all 15 countries measured in the Macdonald-Laurier rankings.

The good news is that Canada ranks far higher on its vaccination rate and disease response (fourth overall) and COVID-19 control measures (fifth overall).

However, the economic fallout from the pandemic and Canada’s spend-first-and-spend-often approach threatens to extend COVID-19’s negative impacts far into the future.

As MLI Index creator Richard Audas points out, the results of the index suggest that the continued high-spending approach backed by Canada’s three major political parties “is not the correct path forward to protect human health and well-being. The costs associated with this strategy will clearly be a burden for future generations, and the benefits at best have been uncertain.”

If misery loves company, Canada and Canadians are destined to attract an ever-expanding circle of friends.