Thank you, Mr. Chair, for the opportunity to represent my constituents virtually during this challenging period of physical distancing.
I'd like to start by asking about supports for workers. In Alberta, meat-packing plants are directly responsible for nearly a quarter of all COVID-19 cases. The government and management ignored the pleas of workers and did not put effective safety protocols in place to deal with COVID-19. Now, two workers are dead, at least six more are in intensive care and COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire through these communities. There are over 1,400 cases.
Yesterday, employees were forced back to work even though their concerns had not been addressed. On March 27, regarding the CERB, the Minister of Finance said that if workers don't feel comfortable in their work, if they decide to stay home, they can apply for the benefit, yet the website says differently.
Will the minister guarantee that every Canadian receiving CERB, EI or the CESB will not lose their benefits if they refuse to return to work or to accept work that is unsafe due to COVID-19?