Canada has a rich history of peace-related activism, research, and global leadership. But a period of defunding and fragmentation has left the Canadian peace community spread thin. Constraints on resources and volunteer time mean that many organizations are essentially run by one or two people; the same few people do everything; and organizations often operate in silos, speaking past each other. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of these challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for more thoughtful, multidisciplinary, and inclusive policies. Among many impacts, it has shown the limits of security-oriented responses to crises; increased the role of technology in our lives and raised new concerns about surveillance; and exacerbated ongoing conflicts and disrupted peacebuilding efforts. In the discussions on how to "build back better," peace researchers and practitioners should have seats at these tables. The Canadian Peace Commons is an ideal platform to animate these discussions and ensure a Canadian contextual understanding.