First Ministers’ statement on shared public health approach to support restarting the economy


Science and evidence-based decision-making – Decisions to ease and/or reinstate measures should be based on current public health situations, as advised by public health officials.

Coordination and collaboration – First Ministers firmly believe that strong collaboration to date has served Canadians well, and that continued collaboration is key to ongoing success. First Ministers agree to support the continuation of supply chains across borders to maintain economic activity, access to protective equipment, and food security for all Canadians. Governments will continue to share information about challenges and opportunities. Since provinces and territories and the Government of Canada may need to move forward at different times and in potentially different ways, it will be important to maintain the coordination and collaboration that has taken place throughout the pandemic (e.g., consistent guidance on occupational health and safety requirements).

Accountability and transparency – Each government will continue to be accountable to its residents, and will monitor the impacts of measures to restart the economy and provide updates on progress. Data sharing is critical to understanding the situation across Canada and is essential to informing efforts to re-open segments of the economy.

Flexibility and proportionality – Public health measures should be relaxed based on the level of threat, and in a controlled and phased manner, based on information that may change over time. This includes information on risks around the disease and health of Canadians as well as social and economic benefits to them. It also includes local and sectoral contexts (e.g., different workplaces, educational institutions, and social activities). It is recognized that there will be differences within jurisdictions on approaches taken and that measures may need to be re-imposed if the understanding of the information changes.

Criteria and measures needed to restart the economy

Epidemiological analysis, health care service arrangements, population distribution, geographic considerations, and economic dynamics are some of the factors that might affect decisions on where, when, and how measures are lifted. Within this context, First Ministers agree that decisions should be informed by the following criteria and measures:

COVID-19 transmission is controlled – The incidence of new cases should be maintained at a level that health care systems can manage, with substantial clinical care capacity in reserve. There is a stabilisation in the number of hospitalisations and/or new cases, with the possible exception of isolated outbreaks.