As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on Canada's front-line health care workers, BC Care Providers Association has been looking at out-of-the-box solutions to ensure that seniors' care homes have enough staff on hand for cleaning, security, food preparation, and other key support services over the next few weeks.
In a strong show of solidarity, the Vancouver Canucks have offered to divert some of their staff - who are no longer working due to event cancellations - to Metro Vancouver care homes facing staffing shortages.
Earlier today, BCCPA sent out a survey to its members to assess their need for more support staff and received a significant response from interested care providers.
"We are thankful to the Vancouver Canucks for their generous offer of support which is a huge morale boost for people working on the front lines of this crisis," says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine. "While this is a challenging time for all of us, it's important that we come together to lend a helping hand to those in need."
The deployment of additional workers will provide much-needed relief to care providers and allow them to augment cleaning protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus at their sites.
"The pause to NHL, NLL and concert schedules came quickly and will have a financial impact on all part-time employees of Canucks Sports & Entertainment," says Trent Carroll, the Vancouver Canucks' Chief Operating Officer (COO). "In addition to our internal program to financially support our part-time employees, we have been busy exploring additional ways to help our employees through this difficult time. BC Care Providers Association is providing support to the most vulnerable in our community and we are so pleased to be able to partner with them on a program that will help those in need, while also providing some temporary opportunities for our part-time employees."
At member sites, Vancouver Canucks staff will be deployed in areas such as cleaning, security, front-desk/greeting, and food preparation. SafeCare BC will ensure workers are provided with basic workplace health and safety training in key areas, including infection prevention and control and violence prevention, prior to their arrival at worksites.
Over the coming days, BCCPA will work the Ministry of Health to facilitate this initiative and explore partnerships with other organizations to expand its reach beyond Metro Vancouver.
BCCPA is also recommending to the federal government that income earned by workers during this period should be exempt from employment insurance (EI) deductions.
More details will be available on BCCPA's regularly updated COVID-19 Response page.