The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping our world and laying bare holes in our systems with devastating results. Long standing inequalities mean that the tragedy of this crisis, left unchecked, will fall much more heavily on some. That is unacceptable. 
 
This unprecedented time demands new thinking and bold action. 
 
The Essential Solutions Project brings together experts across multiple disciplines to generate innovative answers to the complex challenges we face right now, and chart a path towards a more equitable and resilient future for all of us.

Our Reports


Paying for the Recovery We Want - Report

  • Alex Himelfarb, Andrew Jackson, Katrina Miller, and Brian Topp. October 5, 2020

Medicare 2.0 - Report

  • Drs. Danyaal Raza, Amina Jabbar, Jeffrey Ansloos, Kofi Hope, and Gregory Marchildon. October 10, 2020

Basic Income Guarantee - Report

  • Angella MacEwen, Mark Rowlinson, Andrew Jackson, and Katrina Miller. October 21, 2020

Our Experts


László Andor
Secretary General of the Foundation of European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

László Andor is Secretary General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS). He is a Hungarian economist, and former EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (2010-2014). Since stepping down from the Commission, he has been head of department of economic policy at Corvinus University (Budapest), Senior Fellow at Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) and a visiting professor at ULB (Brussels) as well as Sciences Po (Paris). He also became a member of various think tanks (EPC, RAND Europe, Friends of Europe) in an advisory capacity.

Between 1991 and 2005, Andor taught political science and economic policy in Budapest, and was editor of the progressive social science journal Eszmélet. He was also a regular columnist for the weekly business magazine Figyelő and the daily Népszava. He has authored, edited or co-edited a dozen books in Hungary, including on economic and political history, comparative economics and globalization. 

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Dr. Jeffrey Ansloos 
Canada Research Chair and Assistant Professor 
Indigenous Health and Social Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto
Broadbent Institute Fellow

Dr. Jeffrey Ansloos is Canada Research Chair and Assistant Professor in Indigenous Health and Social Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He also chairs the Indigenous Education Network, an educational forum which convenes ongoing public scholarship, organizes progressive social action and promotes positive change for Indigenous communities across Canada. Dr. Ansloos’ research focuses on social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental dimensions of health, as well examines community-based and systems-level change processes needed to advance social and health equity within Canada, with a particular focus on Indigenous rights. Dr. Ansloos also researches the role of emergent technologies at the intersection of community mobilization and social change.  He is a fellow of the United Nations–Alliance of Civilizations, which promotes intercultural dialogue and cooperation in the areas of education, youth, migration, media and women’s rights. Dr. Ansloos serves on a number of non-profit and community boards, and is a policy advisor with various branches of federal, provincial, and territorial governments, as well as First Nations governments. Dr. Ansloos is Nehiyaw (Cree) and is a member of Fisher River Cree Nation (Ochekwi-Sipi; Treaty 5).

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Ryoa Chung
Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Université de Montréal

Ryoa Chung is professor in the Department of Philosophy at Université de Montréal. Her fields of research include ethics in international relations, feminist studies and applied political philosophy, particularly in the field of global health. She was visiting scholar at École Normale Supérieure de Fontenay/Saint-Cloud (Paris), Columbia University, Harvard School of Public Health, and visiting professor at Lyon 3. She has published in such journals as Critical Review of International Social and Political PhilosophyPublic Health EthicsRevue internationale de sociologieMedicine, Conflict and Survival; Journal of Medical Ethics and in collective works including Bioethics in Canada (Oxford University Press, 2013). She co-edited the book Éthique des relations internationales (Presses universitaires de France, 2013). Her work as member of international research teams have been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Wellcome Trust. Her individual research is currently funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Alex Himelfarb
Broadbent, and Parkland Institute Fellow

Alex Himelfarb is a former Clerk of the Privy Council and currently chairs or serves on numerous voluntary sector boards. He was also the Director of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, leading the Centre for Global Challenges. Dr. Himelfarb was a Professor of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick from 1972 to 1981. During this period, he undertook an Executive Interchange with the Department of Justice as Head of the Unified Family Court Project from 1979 to 1981. In 1981, he joined the Public Service with the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada. He has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility since that time, including Director General, Planning and Systems Group, Planning and Management Branch with the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada; Executive Director of the National Parole Board; Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Social Policy Development with the Privy Council Office; and Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board. While serving as Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board, he also headed the federal Task Force on the Social Union. In June 1999, Mr. Himelfarb became Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage. He then served as Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet from May 2002 until March 2006 when he was nominated as Ambassador of Canada to the Italian Republic with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Albania and the Republic of San Marino, and as High Commissioner for Canada to the Republic of Malta. Alex Himelfarb is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he obtained a Ph.D. in Sociology. He is an Atkinson Foundation Board member as well as a Fellow of the Broadbent and Parkland Institutes, respectively.

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Kofi Hope 
Senior Policy Advisor, Wellesley Institute 

Kofi Hope is a Rhodes Scholar and has a Doctorate in Politics from Oxford University.   He is the co-founder and CEO of Monumental, a new start-up focused on supporting organizations work towards an equitable recovery from COVID-19. He is an emeritus Bousfield Scholar and current adjunct professor at UofT’s School of Geography and Planning.  He also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Wellesley Institute and is a board member at the Atkinson Foundation.  In 2017 he was winner of the Jane Jacobs Prize and in 2018 a Rising Star in Toronto Life’s Power List.  Kofi was the founder and former Executive Director of the CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals. In 2005 he established the Black Youth Coalition Against Violence, which became a leading voice for advocating for real solutions to gun violence in Toronto and led to him being named one of the Top 10 People to Watch in Toronto in 2006 by the Toronto Star. 

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Deena Ladd 
Founder and Executive Director, Workers' Action Centre 

Deena Ladd has been working to improve wages and working conditions in sectors of work that are dominated with low-wages, violations of rights, discrimination, precarious and temp work for the past 27 years. She has worked to support and develop grassroots training and organizing with groups such as the Fight for $15 and Fairness Campaign and the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change. Deenais one of the founders and Executive Director of the Toronto Workers' Action Centre. The Workers' Action Centre organizes to improve wages and working conditions with low-waged workers, women, racialized and immigrant workers in precarious jobs that face discrimination, violations of rights and no benefits in the workplace.  

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Angella MacEwen
Senior Economist at CUPE National
Broadbent Institute Fellow

Angella MacEwen is a Senior Economist at CUPE National and a Broadbent Institute Fellow. Her primary focus is understanding the impacts of Canadian economic and social policy on workers, especially climate policy and international trade and investment treaties. She is on the steering committee for the Green Economy Network, and is the co-chair of the Trade Justice Network. Angella holds a MA in Economics (Dalhousie) and a BA in International Development Studies (Saint Mary’s). You can find her defending social democratic ideas on twitter “@amacewen”.

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Julie Margetta Morgan 
Vice President of Research
Roosevelt Institute 

Julie Margetta Morgan is the Vice President of Research at the Roosevelt Institute, where she leads the Institute's think tank. Julie most recently served as Deputy Policy Director for Domestic Policy for Elizabeth Warren for President. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Great Democracy Initiative, a project focused on building a playbook of progressive policy ideas, and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. Julie began her career in policy at the Center for American Progress, and she has also served as a Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a senior policy advisor to Senator Elizabeth Warren. She holds a Ph.D. in higher education and a J.D. from Boston College.

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Frédéric Mérand
Professor of political science and director of CÉRIUM, the University of Montreal Centre for International Studies

Frédéric Mérand is professor of political science and director of CÉRIUM, the University of Montreal Centre for International Studies. An expert in European politics and the sociology of international relations, he was visiting professor at Sciences Po Paris and at the universities of Toronto, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Lille, McGill and Guido Carli in Rome. His current research focuses on relations between Europe and Russia, the politicization of the European Union and the decline of great powers. Previously, he worked as foreign policy advisor for the Canadian government. 

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Julia Posca
Researcher at the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques (IRIS)

Julia Posca graduated in sociology from the Université du Québec à Montréal (M.A., 2011). Since then, she has worked as a researcher at the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques (IRIS). Her work focuses on household debt, socio economic inequality, the changing nature of work and neoliberalism in Quebec. In 2018, she published two works with Lux Éditeur: Le Manifeste des parvenus, an essay on the Quebec elite and the entrepreneurial ideology it champions, and Détournement d’État : Bilan de quinze ans de gouvernement libéral, co-authored with Guillaume Hébert. She has also been a member of the editorial committee of Liberté magazine since 2018.

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Dr. Danyaal Raza
Chair, Canadian Doctors for Medicare

Dr. Danyaal Raza is a physician, academic and advocate. He is a family physician with the Department of Family & Community Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and serves as Chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, an organization dedicated to evidence-based, values-driven health care reform. His leadership and advocacy work focus on health policy, including access to prescription medication and the interface of public/private healthcare.

Dr. Raza holds a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University, completed as a Frank Knox Fellow. He is also a former Fellow in Global Health at the University of Toronto’s Department of Family & Community Medicine. He completed his post-graduate medical training at Queen's University, and holds a Medical Doctorate and  Bachelor of Engineering Science from Western University.

Follow him on Twitter, @DanyaalRaza.

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Mark Rowlinson
President, Blue Green Canada
Assistant to the Canadian National Director of the United Steelworkers

Mark Rowlinson is the Assistant to the Canadian National Director of the United Steelworkers, a senior policy position within the Union in Canada. Mark serves as a key strategic adviser to the Union on policy issues including international trade, environmental policy and manufacturing policy.

Since 2011, Mark Rowlinson has also been the President of Blue Green Canada, an alliance of Canadian labour unions, environmental and civil society organizations that advocates for working people and the environment by promoting solutions to environmental issues that have positive employment and economic impacts.

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Paulette Senior
CEO and President
Canadian Women’s Foundation

Paulette Senior is the CEO and President of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She has devoted her life and career to breaking down systemic barriers and building up diverse women and girls. Her personal experience immigrating to Canada from Jamaica as a young girl ignited her interest in social justice and helped make her the dynamic, grounded leader she is today.

In 2016, Paulette joined the Canadian Women’s Foundation as President and CEO after a decade serving as CEO of YWCA Canada. She is a sought-after thought-leader on numerous issues including gender equity and gender-based violence; women’s poverty and the wage gap; girls’ empowerment; and leadership. Her focus at the Foundation is to bolster an inclusive national movement for all women, girls, and communities across Canada.

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Dr. Arjumand Siddiqi

Canada Research Chair in Population Health Equity, and Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Epidemiology at University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Dr. Arjumand Siddiqi is Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Epidemiology at University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, where she also holds the Canada Research Chair in Population Health Equity.  Dr. Siddiqi also has appointments at University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and the Department of Sociology, as well as at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.  The focus of her research is on the analysis of racial and socioeconomic health inequities, with a particular emphasis on the policies and other structural conditions that produce these inequities, as well as those that can resolve them.  Dr. Siddiqi is an alumnus of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Global Academy and former Associate Member of its Program on Successful Societies. She was also a member of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health, and provides consultation to other international and governmental agencies. Dr. Siddiqi received her doctorate in Social Epidemiology from Harvard University.

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Merran Smith
Founder and Executive Director
Clean Energy Canada

Merran Smith is a fellow at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and the founder and executive director of Clean Energy Canada, a leading think tank advancing clean energy and climate solutions. 

Merran serves as a Canadian representative on the International Clean Energy Ambassador Corps and as co-chair of the B.C. government’s Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council. Her 2018 work as co-chair of Natural Resources Canada’s Generation Energy Council helped ideas from a diverse group of stakeholders coalesce into recommendations that will shape Canada's energy future. 

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Jamison Steeve
Senior Advisor to Gillian Hadfield at the new Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society

Currently, Jamison Steeve is a Senior Advisor to Gillian Hadfield at the new Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society. His portfolio includes Policy, Strategy and Solutions. Jamison has spent the last 16 years working in the public policy arena. He brought a thoughtful and results oriented approach to his role as the Executive Director at the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, two of Canada’s leading think tanks. Jamison was responsible for the day to day operation of both institutes, as well as the development of the strategic plan, communication vehicles and policy agenda. Prior to that, Jamison held a number of high level roles in the Ontario provincial government under Premier Dalton McGuinty, including health policy advisor to the Premier, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Health, and Principal Secretary. Some of his policy successes during that time include the implementation of Full Day junior and senior kindergarten, the significant reduction of surgical wait times and the implementation of the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax).

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GREGORY MARCHILDON
Ontario Research Chair in Health Policy and System Design at the University of Toronto’s Institution of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Prior to this, he was a founding member of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the Universities of Regina and Saskatchewan. In addition to being a faculty member and research chair, Greg regularly provides advice to governments and international organizations on health reform. He also sits on the editorial board of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Greg received his PhD from the London School of Economics, after which he taught for five years at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. 

In the 1990s, he served as deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs and subsequently as deputy minister to the premier and cabinet secretary in the Government of Saskatchewan. From 2001-2002, he was executive director of a federal Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, known as the Romanow Commission. Greg is the author of numerous journal articles and books on Canadian history, comparative public policy, public administration and federalism, including a survey of the Canadian health system for the World Health Organization and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies that has gone through two editions.