This week's public health notices were the main topic of our member discussion Wednesday and I've been receiving calls from members as well. The primary issue is the mention of the word "workshops" (see above image) and what this means for employment service providers and their upcoming workshops.
September is a busy time for training in general, and with the Canada Response Benefit set to expire on October 23, 2021, those working in the sector are preparing for a rush for services. Many employment service providers have projects ready to start over the next few weeks and now don't know what to do. Asking staff for proof of vaccination, let alone program participants who may have some legitimate reasons for not getting vaccinated, is an ethical and legal Pandora's Box.
I reached out Thursday to Chris Brown, ADM at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Bindi Sawchuk, ADM, and Catherine Poole, Executive Director, Program Design and Delivery Branch for the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, asking for policy direction and clarification. They have put in a request to the Public Health Office, which is quite understandably bombarded with similar requests for clarification. They are doing their best to get this sorted out as soon as possible and I applaud them all for their quick response to my and other contractors' requests.
We need to hold on a little bit for the answer. Like so much of this pandemic, we are once again forging ahead into unknown and uncomfortable territory.
CEO of ASPECT BC