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View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I want to first raise this point. When the officials say that it is the employer who knows best in terms of workplace safety, I would argue that it is the employees who know best, because they are the people who are going to be put at risk in this situation.
From that perspective, when people ask for personal protective equipment, I think they should be provided that equipment.
As a case in point, I received an email from a worker in Quebec. The worker works in a different sector, and because Quebec has a mandatory redeployment policy, all these workers are being redeployed to another area, which has been deemed mandatory. They are not trained and are ill-equipped.
People are very stressed in that situation. They feel that if they do not abide by that mandatory redeployment requirement, they will lose their jobs; they will be fired.
The email I received is very lengthy. It is from someone who is in that situation right now. The individual also further explained by way of copies of emails that have been exchanged between the worker and the employer, and on the issue around personal protective equipment, and so on, not being available, the response was basically saying, “Good luck; this is what you have to do.”
I'd like to get a response from the officials on that. How do people deal with those kinds of situations? If they're put in an environment that they feel is not safe, they're ill-equipped to do that work and they are forced to quit because they are made to do it otherwise, what will happen to them?
If you voluntarily leave your job, you would not qualify for CERB or for government assistance.
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