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There has been much discussion, as the economy begins to reopen, as to what the role of businesses under the “new normal” should be.
A recent article in Fortune magazine predicts the public will be more demanding of corporations to use their resources “for the benefit of society at large.”
An Ernst & Young report similarly notes there will be increased public pressure on companies “to proactively address societal challenges, from income inequality to climate change.”
Much of the corporate world has already shifted towards this “stakeholder capitalism” model. The pandemic has clearly accelerated the shift.
Seizing on this changing perception of the role of corporations, the Trudeau government is using its “Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility” program to browbeat businesses into declaring their support for “environmental sustainability and national climate goals” in order to access a bridge loan from the federal government and survive the lockdown-created recession.
Businesses shouldn’t just be doing business, apparently; it’s also their responsibility to support the federal government’s climate agenda.
The main problem with tasking corporations with addressing climate change — or for that matter income inequality, community development, or any other item on a long list of public issues — is