Leading Canadian Researchers Form COVID-19 Social Impacts Network

(April 9, 2020) The COVID-19 crisis has changed life in Canada in extraordinary ways. Canadians have been asked – or required – to avoid contact with friends and loved ones, to leave their job or workplace, and to stay home. Others – deemed essential – are still working on the frontlines of this emergency. Children are out of school, public spaces are shut down, and the hustle and bustle that so often accompanies spring in Canada has been replaced by quiet streets.

More than ever before, overcoming the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 relies on the cooperation, support and direct involvement of every single person living in this country.

On April 9, 2020, Jack Jedwab, President and CEO of ACS-Metropolis; Nora Spinks, CEO of the Vanier Institute of the Family; and Sébastien Goupil, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, announced the creation of a multidisciplinary network of the country’s leading researchers and statisticians with the goal of examining the impact that COVID-19 will have on the Canadian public.

“Regular monitoring of how Canadians are responding the many issues that arise from COVID-19 is critical to help identify approaches to flattening the curve and the COVID-19 Social Impacts Network enables us to work with some of Canada’s leading researchers in pursuit of this objective.” – Jack Jedwab, Chair, COVID-19 Social Impacts Network

“Families are the cornerstone of society and the engine of our economy. Families are quickly adapting to and influencing social and economic factors. The more we understand about how families are managing, or not is critical for policy makers and lawmakers during and post pandemic.” – Nora Spinks, CEO, The Vanier Institute of the Family

“COVID-19 is already having a profound effect on societies around the world; there are new forms of connectedness, but also new forms of disinformation, isolation and discrimination. It is more essential than ever that sound research on social impacts be widely shared to inform policy and decision-making at all levels of government.” – Sébastien Goupil, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission, UNESCO

ACS-Metropolis has partnered with the market research and analytics company Leger to examine the social impacts of COVID-19. In the months ahead, the Social Impacts Network will draw on survey research and new data from Statistics Canada to examine Canadians’ views on issues related to the COVID-19 crisis, including evolving levels of concern, gender and generational perspectives, family life, immigration, self-isolation, social distancing and social cohesion.

A sampling of recent research studies includes:

More information on these findings can be found on the COVID-19 Social Impacts Network portal.

COVID-19 Social Impacts Network – Expert Advisory Committee Members

The leading researchers who make up the Expert Advisory Committee of the COVID-19 Social Impacts Network include:

  • Senator Donna Dasko
  • David Schimpky, Special Advisor, Strategic Initiatives and External Relations, Canadian Commission for UNESCO
  • Nora Spinks, Chief Executive Officer, The Vanier Institute of the Family
  • Hubert Lussier, retired, Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Heritage
  • Jane Badets, retired, Assistant Chief Statistician, Statistics Canada
  • Christian Bourque, Executive Vice President, Leger
  • Wendy Cukier, Professor and Founder, Diversity Institute, Ryerson University
  • Jennifer Kaddatz, Special Advisor, The Vanier Institute of the Family
  • Tasha Kheiriddin, Media Commentator
  • Howard Ramos, Political Sociologist, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University
  • Marika Warner, Director of Research and Evaluation, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
  • Lori Wilkinson, Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology, University of Manitoba
  • Cary Wu, Assistant Professor of Sociology, York University
  • Joan Atlin, Research Director, World Education Services


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