How will London recover from the pandemic? The city has a plan

The City of London has unveiled a three-year London Community Recovery Framework for economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Councillor Josh Morgan explains, "Many Londoners and London businesses...felt the full weight, and still continue to feel the full weight of the pandemic. And so what recovery looks like is -- as we move out of those processes of government subsidization and government support, how does the economy support itself."

Being unveiled at the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee, it is the result of work by the London Community Recovery Network, which was formed in July 2020 and involved over 30 organizations.

Led by Mayor Ed Holder, the group has identified 70 ideas to deal with the impact of the pandemic on the community and help focus on recovery.

The plan focuses on strengthening the community, building a sustainable city, growing the economy, creating a safe city for women and girls and leading in public service, as well as aligning with anti-racism and anti-oppression goals.

London Chamber of Commerce CEO Graham Henderson says what was in place before wasn't necessarily working.

"It doesn’t mean just going back to the old ways. In fact, there’s a lot of people in a lot of different businesses who would probably say ‘The last thing I want is that old world back.’ So let’s take advantage of what’s happened to us and find a new world, and a better world."

The plan also outlines how the recovery and renewal will be measured.

"We’re moving towards real, measurable results that can move us towards recovery. And it does not matter if it is City Hall working towards those metrics, or the private sector, or not-for-profits, we are essentially establishing a framework to say ‘This is where the recovery is,’" Morgan adds.

A post-pandemic London is envisioned as improving the quality of life for all by investing in people, driving prosperity through sustainable and inclusive economic recovery and fostering community so Londoners can reconnect with other community members.

"I think that the community came together and we felt that we wanted to invest in people, we wanted to foster community, and we wanted to drive prosperity," Henderson says.

The plan is being called a first-of-its-kind in Canada, and there are plans to share its ideas with provincial and federal representatives.

Full details are available here.

- With files from CTV News London's Bryan Bicknell