Ottawa weighs reducing COVID-19 sickness advantage for Canadians who have travelled as Canada surpasses 600,000 circumstances

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough states the authorities is ‘actively on the lookout at all options’ in the deal with of concerns above irrespective of whether Canadians who have travelled abroad need to be permitted to obtain a ill leave advantage.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The federal Liberal federal government mulled the possibility of barring Canadians who travelled overseas from acquiring a ill leave gain aimed at those who ought to quarantine because of to COVID-19 on Sunday amid fresh admissions of international excursions from a increasing checklist of politicians and a countrywide case count that surpassed 600,000.

The Canada Restoration illness benefit was released in the fall to assistance Canadians who are not able to operate since they will have to quarantine for the duration of the pandemic. It pays $500 per 7 days to a greatest of two weeks.

But Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough stated the authorities is “actively on the lookout at all options” in the experience of thoughts in excess of whether Canadians who have travelled abroad really should be authorized to obtain the revenue.

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Controversy in excess of the problem mounted on Sunday as two customers of the federal Liberal caucus stepped down from their parliamentary obligations after disclosing journeys abroad in excess of the getaway time period, joining a slew of provincial legislators who also flouted common community well being information to keep home as COVID-19 scenarios skyrocketed.

Federal data showed Canada surpassed 600,000 scenarios of the novel coronavirus on Sunday immediately after going various times without reporting new figures.

The nationwide total now stands at 601,663.

It took just about two weeks to increase 100,000 diagnoses to the nationwide tally the region achieved the 500,000 case milestone on Dec. 19, right before a lot of of the jet-placing politicians left the place.

Qualtrough mentioned globetrotters have been never intended as the recipients of the federal unwell profit.

It’s designed “to deliver personnel with a paid out ill-go away option where by one could not be available by way of their employer, so that personnel did not have to pick amongst heading to perform and putting food on the table,” Qualtrough explained in a statement.

“The Canada Restoration Illness Gain was never intended to incentivize or inspire Canadians to not abide by general public overall health or worldwide vacation guidelines. … We are actively looking at all readily available possibilities to tackle this situation.”

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Issues about the sick-go away benefit ended up to start with elevated over the weekend by Bloc Quebecois Chief Yves-Francois Blanchet, who stated it was “absurd in most cases” that anybody ready to go away the country would have to have authorities assist to quarantine.

“If a person is travelling due to the fact it is vital for their get the job done, you might imagine they won’t drop cash flow,” he included in a statement in French. “And if anyone is travelling for satisfaction, they are currently getting recommended not to travel.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose occasion pushed the Liberals to create the benefit, welcomed the government’s critique, saying Canadians had been “rightly upset those who can afford to pay for to go on a holiday vacation could get $1,000 to continue to be household when they appear back again.”

But he also warned Canadians would keep on to depart the region as long as non-important travel was allowed.

Is my province in lockdown? A guide to COVID-19 restrictions across Canada

The emerging debate above the sick-leave gains arrives as Canadians have been buffeted over the earlier 7 days with revelations that some politicians have dismissed their individual government’s suggestions and taken non-critical journeys overseas.

Those visits have occur even as thousands and thousands of Canadians confront government-imposed lockdowns throughout the place aimed at curbing the next wave of COVID-19 bacterial infections, which included hundreds of freshly claimed conditions on Sunday to take the countrywide overall in excess of the 600,000 threshold.

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That involves almost 3,000 new favourable exams in Ontario about the previous 24 hrs and additional than 7,600 new situations in Quebec due to the fact Thursday, with hundreds of folks hospitalized in equally provinces.

In a uncommon little bit of great news, nevertheless, Nunavut described that the territory has no regarded situations as all 265 residents who have beforehand tested beneficial are now recovered. The territory has logged one virus-linked death about the system of the pandemic.

The list of politicians regarded to have travelled exterior the state in the latest weeks grew on Sunday as the federal Liberals disclosed that two of their MPs experienced frequented the U.S. in late December.

Main federal government whip Mark Holland stated in a assertion that Montreal MP Sameer Zuberi and Brampton MP Kamal Khera, parliamentary secretary to Worldwide Growth Minister Karina Gould, still left the state without having his awareness.

In a individual assertion posted to social media, Khera said she travelled to Seattle to attend a memorial for her late uncle, who died at the end of September.

“Although the purpose of my travel is deemed vital supplied the instances,” she wrote, “I have determined to move apart from my obligations … in an hard work to be certain my selections do not distract from the essential work of our federal government to keep on battling this pandemic.”

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Holland reported Zuberi was also stepping down from his position on many Home of Commons committees.

Three other Liberal MPs travelled outside the house the nation amongst July and September, but Holland reported he was informed of the trips at the time and there was no indication that they would deal with any ramifications.

Primary Minister Justin Trudeau’s spokesman Alex Wellstead claimed Overseas Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is the only minister to have travelled outside Canada due to the fact March, noting all three journeys have been for government small business.

Questions about politicians’ vacation designs first surfaced previous week when it was exposed that former Ontario finance minister Rod Phillips had taken a vacation to the Caribbean. He resigned from the function on New Year’s Eve soon after his return to Canada.

At the very least five Alberta legislators also left Canada around the vacations, although Leading Jason Kenney has declined to punish them.

The federal NDP stripped Manitoba MP Niki Ashton of her duties as the party’s transport critic and deputy critic for gals and gender equality right after she travelled to Greece last thirty day period. Ashton stated she remaining to be with her ailing grandmother.

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The NDP said Ashton is the only caucus member to have travelled exterior the country due to the fact March, whilst no a single in the place of work of celebration chief Jagmeet Singh or the party’s investigation bureau has remaining Canada.

Bloc Quebecois Whip Claude DeBellefeuille also reported that none of her party’s MPs had still left Canada considering that the onset of the pandemic, stating in a assertion in French that she had issued a directive prohibiting international journey.

Conservative Chief Erin O’Toole’s workplace did not directly react to a problem on Sunday over which MPs and personnel experienced travelled exterior of Canada due to the fact the commencing of December.

“Since turning out to be chief, O’Toole has ongoing to emphasize the necessity for all customers of caucus to observe all public health assistance together with journey advisories,” spokeswoman Chelsea Tucker stated in an e-mail. “It is our being familiar with that all customers of caucus have.”

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