Pandemic benefits: Labour group say Liberals failing workers

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OTTAWA —
The head of the Canadian Labour Congress says the federal Liberals are leaving still-hurting workers out in the cold by providing a benefit few, if any, will be able to use.

Bea Bruske says the organization would have preferred to see a continuation of now-defunct recovery benefits for many workers who are still struggling rather than one that will only go to those affected by a lockdown.

She says no jurisdiction is under lockdown, adding that some jurisdictions might hesitate to bring one in.

Legislation introduced Wednesday in the House of Commons would, if passed, create the $300-a-week benefit for workers who find themselves off the job because of a pandemic-related lockdown between now and spring 2022.

Cabinet would decide which regions are considered in lockdown, defined as an order for businesses to close and workers to stay home for at least 14 straight days.

Bruske says concerns about the proposed benefit are among the top issues she and other labour leaders expect to raise during planned lobbying meetings with MPs next week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2021.

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