As concerns for the safety of Canadians and workers at overcrowded Service Canada centres reached new heights this week, the government decided to close these offices for regular walk-in traffic without pre-screening.
PSAC and its component union CEIU believe this measure will protect the public and its members from contracting COVID-19, and will not negatively impact the ability of vulnerable Canadians to receive the support they need at this critical time.
“The majority of applications for EI and emergency support are received online, so most people won’t be impacted at all,” said Chris Aylward, Public Service Alliance of Canada national president.
“For those who cannot fill out an application online, our members will be able to provide that service for Canadians over the phone,” added Aylward. “And in cases where an in-person visit is necessary, the individual will receive a specific appointment to come into the office where their file will be prepared in advance and they will be supported in a safe environment.”
The measures introduced by the government will ensure that Service Canada employees will be able to continue providing emergency income support without interruptions due to illness or complications due to overcrowding of offices.
“Our members are committed to ensuring that everyone who needs help will get it, and that everyone’s health will be protected at the same time,” said Canada Employment and Immigration Union National President Eddy Bourque.