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Head-Spinning Announcements from Government

October 22, 2021 11:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

What's that expression, "living in interesting times"? The employment sector is seeing its fair share of dynamics and yesterday's announcement by Canadian Minister of Employment, Hon. Carla Qualtrough certainly had my head spinning. Although the house is not sitting and this is policy change not yet official, Minister Qualtrough warned that if a worker leaves their job because they refuse to get vaccinated, they will likely not qualify for employment insurance.

Our members are telling us that they are receiving calls and visits from some of the 5,500 unvaccinated health care workers who feel they must leave their jobs, but tying EI benefits to COVID vaccinations is not something I even considered possible. The courts are full of legal challenges right now and employment case law is being tested. It will be interesting to see if this proposed policy announcement will encourage the unvaccinated to get vaccinated or if there will be a rush to the courts. Regardless, for our sector it could be a landmine moving forward with these clients.

Minister Qualtrough's musings come on the heels of the expected announcements from the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance about the end of the Canada Response Benefit and "targeted" bridging supports. Again, these are just plans right now and we can likely expect a healthy debate when the House sits November 22 for their winter session. We can expect a Cabinet shuffle as well. 

With all of these changes, I am delighted to announce that Pedro Barata, Executive Director at the Future Skills Centre will be our Keynote Speaker at the Conference on Friday, November 5 at 9:00am. We had an exciting meeting yesterday where we discussed possible topics for his presentation and I can promise you that it's going to be epic. 

Janet Morris-Reade

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