Lawrence Schembri: Covid-19, savings and household spending

Remarks (delivered virtually) by Mr Lawrence Schembri, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, to Restaurants Canada, Toronto, Ontario, 11 March 2021.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
12 March 2021


Good afternoon. I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to Restaurants Canada once again. Your association represents more than 80,000 businesses across our country and in normal times would employ more than one million people. But we are not living in normal times. Everyone's life has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, some families have suffered heavily, experiencing severe illness and death.

The economic impacts of the pandemic have been very uneven, and your industry has borne a heavy burden. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost, thousands of restaurants have closed, and others are struggling to survive. Many restaurants have adapted with outdoor patios or pick-up and delivery. My family and I are doing our part to help keep our favourites in business and our friends who work there employed.

But it's not the same, is it? For my family and many others, restaurants hold a special place in our lives-that's where we celebrate special occasions. They are where we make happy memories. So, we're all looking forward to spring and the promise of better times ahead.