LILLEY: Trudeau Liberals are mean in denying EI to the unvaccinated

Malicious and conflicting policies are unlikely to increase immunization rates

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Even for a government that recently treated COVID-19 and vaccinations as partisan political issues, this latest move seems malicious and petty.


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Trudeau’s Liberals have said anyone who loses their job for not having been vaccinated against COVID will not be eligible for EI.

I am fully vaccinated, all my relatives are fully vaccinated and I encourage everyone to get vaccinated, but this is something that I struggle with.

We used to believe in personal freedom in this country, including the freedom to choose which medical procedures we accepted.

How many of those now calling for others to be fired for not having been vaccinated have pleaded “my body, my choice” in another setting?

Now we have elected officials at the highest level who threaten people who will not get vaccinated not only with the loss of their jobs, but exclude them from our much-vaunted social safety net.


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“It is a condition of employment that has not been met and the employer who chooses to fire someone for this reason would make that person ineligible for employment insurance,” the Minister of Employment said on Thursday. Job, Carla Qualtrough, at CBC.

This doesn’t just apply to a surgeon operating on a patient with a weakened immune system, it applies to Jane, the home accountant who doesn’t come into contact with anyone else.

I highly doubt that when Jane, the bookkeeper, first took up her job, being vaccinated against COVID-19 was a condition of employment.

Normally, when an employer unilaterally changes the terms of employment and someone loses their job because of that change, this is called constructive dismissal and the worker is entitled to employment insurance.


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Current EI requirements already clearly state that anyone who loses their job is not eligible in most cases.

“In most cases, if you lose or quit your job because you have not complied with your employer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, you will not be eligible for regular Employment Insurance benefits. The government website says.

Let’s be clear here, if your goal is to increase immunization rates, this policy probably won’t help in most cases.

Being a jerk about all of this will only cause those who think they are being pressured or coerced into digging their heels deeper. This will give ringers pushing the idea of ​​a plot to force the jab on everyone more ammo.

Yet this is where we are.

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We have seen employers like the federal government threaten to fire office workers who have been working from home for most of the past two years. Schools have demanded full immunizations even for students taking online classes, students who will never set foot on campus.


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Now the federal government is eliminating employment insurance.

What the Trudeau Liberals are doing with this move is try to tap into the anger and frustration many Canadians feel at this point in the seemingly endless pandemic. This anger and frustration is understandable, I can feel it too and we all want this to end.

But do we really need to see our Prime Minister feed and stoke this anger for a new division by using petty politics to increase his political fortunes?

The answer is of course no, but Trudeau never shies away from using any advantage he can for political gain, even if it is a malicious, petty and divisive policy like this.

We deserve better than that, but sadly that is what a handful of Canadians chose for government in last month’s election.



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