QED economic projections behind new Canadian Shield COVID-19 policy proposal

Jan 2021 – Prof. Christopher Cotton, JDI Director and Jarislowsky-Deutsch Chair in Economic & Financial Policy, joined Global Canada’s COVID Strategic Choices group as the senior academic economist. The group worked to compare the costs and benefits of alternative COVID-19 mitigation and reopening scenarios being considered by federal and provincial governments across Canada to help guide policy. In December 2020, the group released a broad policy analysis and the “Canadian Shield” policy proposal, which has influenced the policy discussion across Canada.

The economic projections behind the analysis come out of an economic model developed by a team of Queen’s Economic Department and Limestone Analytics including Professors Huw Lloyd-Ellis, Christopher Cotton, and Bahman Kashi, along with Ph.D. candidate Frederic Tremblay and researcher Brett Crowley. The analysis provides economic projections based on epidemiological and policy projections that were being considered by the COVID Strategic Choices group. It shows how a stricter lockdown policy at the beginning of the year is likely to be less costly for the Canadian economy in the long run than a series of on-again, off-again lockdowns extending into spring and summer, suggesting that priority should shift away from a quick-as-possible reopening to instead focus on avoiding a third wave of lockdowns later in the spring.

For more information of the COVID Strategic Choices group and the Canadian Shield policy proposal:

For various news articles related to the research:

Toronto Star. CBC Radio One, All in a Day with Alan Neal (

TV & print: Global News coverage of the Canadian Shield proposal

Radio: Rob Snow Show coverage of The Canadian Shield proposal

Radio: Mike Farwell Show (today) coverage of the Canadian Shield policy proposal

Chronicle Herald:

Toronto Star:

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