Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada
There has been a growing perception that people don’t care about each other, that people could no longer come together, that we were too self-centred and self-involved to support one another. What we saw here and all over the world were people saying the opposite. As soon as the pandemic hit, we looked for ways to support each other, to protect our communities, and we made it very clear to the government that we wanted that to be their number one priority—even if it was going to cost money or inconvenience us or change our lives in very profound ways.
Kayla Grey, SportsCentre anchor on TSN
That I needed more. Time and time again, I was reminded of how many tools, resources and instincts I already have within me when it comes to setting out to do meaningful work.
Aurora Browne, actor
I used to think that there would be big satisfying endings in life. Now I realize you have to do things today. Waiting for “someday” is pointless.
Theresa Tam, chief public health officer of Canada
I didn’t think it was possible to have a pandemic vaccine developed and clinical trials completed within a year. From the start of the pandemic, to the rapid sequencing of the virus, to having phase 3 clinical trials and establishing a rolling submission process for candidate COVID-19 vaccines, there has been an extraordinary feat of international and cross-sectoral collaboration. Without cutting any of the crucial steps in the process, this effort has essentially shrunk the time it takes to develop a safe and effective vaccine from 10 years to 10 months!
David Suzuki, environmental activist
The government’s excuse that they don’t have massive amounts of money to put into renewable energy, retrofitting homes, public transit, etc.
Alicia Elliott, Haudenosaunee author
There is this widespread notion that a person’s mental health is a private concern, and therefore the sole responsibility of the individual to understand, treat and overcome. So many of us have used consumerism to distract ourselves from the unsolved problems of late capitalism and neoliberalism—chief among them, the idea that our individual worth is somehow determined by how much and how effectively we contribute to capitalism means we have all had to contend with our own thoughts, fears and repressed traumas, and subsequently, have had to come face to face with the reality that those things are never addressed or solved by the unhealthy lifestyles we now lead.
Priyanka, winner of the first season of Canada’s Drag Race
I always thought I didn’t need alone time, but since the pandemic I have realized that spending time with myself has energized my creativity more than ever.
James Jones, a.k.a. Notorious Cree, TikTok star and hoop dance artist
That I don’t need much to find balance in my life. When the pandemic first hit, I thought losing the gyms, pubs, movie theatres, malls, etc. was going to be hard. But I found that all you really need is yourself to find happiness. Enjoying the little things can help so much in a big way.