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Canada: unvaccinated unemployed deprived of benefits

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Heavily impacted by the Omicron wave, Canada decided to tighten the screw to encourage its population to submit to the vaccine. The Canadian Ministry of Employment has thus decided to temporarily abolish “employment insurance” – equivalent to unemployment insurance in France – for all unemployed people who are reluctant to submit to the injection.

At the microphone of Radio Canada this Thursday, December 30, the Minister of Employment Carla Qualtrough justified this radical measure by the preeminence of the epidemic situation over any other public policy.

“We must keep public health policy at the head of our decisions in the areas of employment, labor and the economy,” said Carla Qualtrough, relayed by the Canadian Press Agency.

With nearly 80,000 new cases in less than twenty-four recorded on Wednesday, Canada sees itself in the obligation to slow down the epidemic rebound, despite relatively high vaccination coverage. Since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020, nearly 83% of Canadians have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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A measure of indefinite duration

If the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Inclusion of People with Disabilities did not give a precise date as to the end of the measure – adding that it would be in force “As long as the public health of Canadians is threatened” – an exception has already been made.

Anyone benefiting from a medical exemption will therefore not be affected by the abolition of unemployment benefit.

In office since 2019, Carla Qualtrough follows the guideline of the ruling Liberals. They refuse to allow government financial assistance to continue to support workers limited by their refusal to be vaccinated.

This radical measure comes in addition to a context of strict reconfinement for the country. Workers in confined areas are receiving and will continue to receive weekly aid of C $ 300.

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