March 20th, 2020
Government needs credible plan for gig economy workers hammered by COVID-19 slow down
TIMMINS – Today, NDP Critic for Income Inequality and Affordability, Charlie Angus, called on the Liberal government to explain its economic plan to support workers facing serious economic hits from the COVID-19 pandemic. Angus emphasized the precarious state of finances for people in the gig economy and those who live off commissions and contracts who aren't normally eligible for employment insurance.
"The government's announcement fails to reveal how precarious workers will be compensated for the lost hours during the pandemic," said Angus. "These are workers who don't have the luxury of waiting while the government figures out how they’ll address the complex varieties of workers in the gig economy. We must act now."
The NDP welcomes the government's promise to bring in new programs for those who don't qualify for EI benefits like the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support benefit. But many Canadians will not receive this additional help until April or May. For a growing number of Canadians, this will be a financial disaster.
"The Prime Minister promised that no one would be left behind in these extraordinary times, but that’s exactly what’s happening across the country," added Angus. "The Liberals may not realize just how extensive the gig economy has become in this country. They must do everything in their power to ensure that cheques are going out to stabilize the lives of workers who are facing unprecedented disruptions.Tinkering with programs aren’t going to cut it."