A group representing Canadian business leaders is urging governments to restart the economy in a responsible way as employers continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goldy Hyder, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the country’s premiers, calling for a coordinated approach to restarting the economy.

“The challenge now is to decide how and when to ease strict physical distancing requirements and permit Canadians to resume normal activities to the extent that it is responsible and safe to do so,” Hyder wrote in the April 16 letter.  

“In confronting this, it is essential that governments, business and labour work together in the national interest to responsibly restart the economy, guided by the best available scientific evidence.”

He added governments shouldn’t feel pressure to move faster than recommendations from public health officials permit, and that a carefully calibrated national approach is the best way to maintain public confidence and prevent future lockdowns.  

The plea comes a month after Hyder wrote a letter urging Trudeau to take more decisive action to stop the spread of the virus.

The global pandemic has ravaged businesses and employees across the country, with the country shedding a record 1.01 million jobs in March. And some economists have warned April’s report could be even worse.

The federal government has implemented measures such as a 75-per-cent wage subsidy program and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to help soften the financial blow to employers and employees during the pandemic.