Which unemployed Canadians will get support?

New federal policies are being created and adapted daily to try and head off the worst-case economic impacts of COVID-19. Many of those modifications are in reaction to advocates pointing out pitfalls in the proposed design of emergency measures. As these programs unfold, I’ve been tracking how well they cover…
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COVID-19: It’s time to protect frontline workers

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that a lot of the people we pay the least are the ones we need the most. In the last two weeks, Canadians have come to appreciate the critical role of the workers in the “supply chain” that keeps us alive. From food…
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Much stronger conditions needed on federal wage subsidy program

The federal government has announced it is prepared to pay wages subsidies of up to 75% of employee wages for all private businesses and other employers, including non-profits, partnerships and charities that expect a 30% drop in revenues, up to a maximum of $847/worker per week and $11,011 over the…
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Unemployment may hit 70-year high, but new EI replacement will help

Yesterday, in response to the impact of COVID-19 on workers, the federal government announced the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which replaces the short-lived Emergency Care Benefit  and almost completely replaces Employment Insurance with a flat $2,000 a month payment ($462 a week). The CERB is available to anyone…
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COVID-19 crisis response must address gender faultlines

With each passing day, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic is coming into sharper view. Cancelled events, shuttered offices, suspended classes—we are all affected. There is mounting pressure on families and communities, on Canada’s economy and the key support systems in place to protect us.  Women are at the forefront…
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Some of our most undervalued workers now among our most valuable as pandemic forces rethink of what jobs are critical

In any public emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, society naturally turns to tried-and-true public service professionals for advice, protection and care. First and foremost, we depend on health-care workers risking their own well-being to care for the ill — even in chaotic and overcrowded conditions. Other first responders provide emergency…
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Bold Action in an Extraordinary Time

The coronavirus has brought about a global public health and economic crisis with breathtaking speed. In Canada we are entering a time of emergency on a scale that is difficult to fully comprehend or anticipate. The pandemic has quickly exposed the gaping holes in our social safety net—particularly with respect…
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What should be next for BC workers and families after the initial federal COVID-19 relief package?

The federal government’s newly announced COVID-19 economic relief measures are a good start to aiding people and businesses whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the ongoing public health crisis. It was crucial for the federal government to act fast and provide reassurance to Canadians that help is on the way…
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Federal support package: the pros, the cons, and the next shoe to drop

Here are some quick thoughts on the extensive package of emergency measures announced today by Prime Minister Trudeau, Finance Minister Morneau, and Bank of Canada Governor Poloz: The Pros: The government has worked quickly and creatively to find ways to deliver support to Canadians, and fast – using the infrastructure…
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COVID-19: Nurses need support from next week’s Ontario budget statement

On March 17, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mandating the immediate closure of everything—from recreation centres and public libraries to restaurants and bars—until March 31. Prohibiting public gatherings of 50 people or more, the Ford government also shared a breakdown of…
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