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Articles on CERB

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Some tools of the trade for sex workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Ryan Conrad)

Sex, taxes & COVID-19: How sex workers navigated pandemic relief efforts

Government support programs like CERB and EI provide a safety net. During COVID-19, sex workers accessed various financial support — future policy needs to address the rights and security of sex workers.
A woman is pictured at the window of her west Toronto apartment in March 2020 as her landlord issued eviction notices at the start of the pandemic. Secure and affordable housing is a big concern of those collecting social assistance, whether it was CERB or provincial programs. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

CERB was luxurious compared to provincial social assistance

CERB was a lifeline but no paradise, highlighting the struggles of social assistance recipients to get by on much less.
Part of Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland is seen in June 2017. Tourism is critically important for many areas of rural Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

Rural vs. urban Canada: No ‘one size fits all’ COVID-19 recovery

Misconceptions of rural realities can have serious implications. Better use of data can help avoid this and lead to policies that will help rural communities recover in the post-pandemic.
A personal support worker with West Neighbourhood House’s Parkdale Assisted Living Program on her way to see a resident at Toronto’s May Robinson apartments seniors’ housing on April 17 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care highlight the urgent need for paid sick leave

One of the factors that has made COVID-19 so catastrophic in long-term care homes was lack of paid sick leave for low-wage workers.
A mourner in Calgary places flowers at a memorial for a Cargill worker who died from COVID-19. A PR campaign that alleged workers would rather collect government assistance than work failed to mention their employment in industries hit hard by COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Public relations is bad news

Public relations is a form of manipulation, used to shift public opinion. It is expressly designed to benefit the organization wielding it, something we’d be wise to remember during the pandemic.
A temporary foreign worker from Mexico plants strawberries on a farm in Mirabel, Que., on May 6, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The coronavirus reveals the necessity of Canada’s migrant workers

Now that the pandemic has made migrant workers visible in Canada, as well as the true value of the work they do, it’s time to dramatically improve their working conditions.
Mexican migrant farmworkers sort cherries at one of Canada’s largest cherry orchards in British Columbia. Elise Hjalmarson

Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit does nothing for migrant workers

COVID-19 may not discriminate, but Canadian policy does. Income support during the pandemic must be extended to everyone, including migrant and undocumented workers.

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