Some tools of the trade for sex workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Low employment rates, coupled with limited government support, made Canadians with disabilities more vulnerable to adverse events from the pandemic.
Canadians with disabilities were hit hardest during the pandemic. CERB limitations meant that many of them were left financially unsupported.
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 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
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 man steps out of the trailer he lives in at a homeless encampment at Strathcona Park in Vancouver in December 2020.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Adopting a universal basic income requires a fundamental restructuring of the existing social safety net in Canada, and would not necessarily conquer income inequality and poverty.
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
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 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.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put people with disabilities and chronic health conditions in a precarious position.
Disabled Canadians and those with chronic health conditions have been left out of government COVID-19 policies and programs and are struggling financially.
The red umbrella is a symbol used by sex worker activists to draw attention to the work conditions and human rights of people in the sexual service industry.
Work in the sexual services industry has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and workers have been left without access to government support.
Justin Trudeau’s government initiated the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit to help people who lost their jobs during the pandemic. Why not make such a program permanent?
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
The relative success of the CERB during the pandemic shows the time is finally right for a permanent basic annual income program.
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
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.
COVID-19 may not discriminate, but Canadian policy does. Income support during the pandemic must be extended to everyone, including migrant and undocumented workers.