The government really did not think this through. … Or they did, and that’s the problem.

So we’re under a new Covid thing again. That thing, because otherwise Covid will bore the hell out of me, shall be known when I write about it as om-nom-nomicron. Naturally this means we’re also under a new Covid benefit again. I say “under” rather than “entitled to” because, well, there are no entitleds.

The federal government has established a new COVID-19 support benefit, but it can’t be accessed because no one in the country meets its eligibility criteria, prompting criticism of the support. The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (new window) (CWLB) officially came into existence last Friday. Like its predecessors, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), it’s designed to provide temporary income support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike those programs, it’s only available to workers who cannot work due to a local lockdown designation, but no region is officially under lockdown.

So. Basically.

  • 1: Create a benefit to help out during a pandemic (good).
  • 2: Slap some restrictions on that benefit so the guy making $100k who’s job hasn’t been affected by the pandemic doesn’t qualify (good).
  • 3: Allow the provinces to do, well, what the provinces will do, and shut down places that will contribute to Covid exploding–in Québec, this apparently means schools, gyms, bars, etc (good).
  • 4: Deny the newly unemployed access to the benefit you just created because their region’s not under lockdown yet (WTF, gov?).
  • 5: Profit, I guess.

I mean I’m not an expert here by any means, but did somebody miss a memo? Yeah, the first round of Covid benefits were way too freaking unrestricted. I could have applied for them and my job wasn’t impacted in any way by Covid other than, you know, that whole being ordered to work from home thing. But methinks somebody might be overcompensating just a little much. either that, or we’re headed for another Christmas lockdown in Canada (note: ford, that is not a suggestion). I’d like to know what Ottawa was thinking, but I’ll settle for knowing *if* Ottawa was thinking. Or perhaps that’s the problem.

Update: Looks like that memo arrived a little bit later than planned.

The federal government is expanding access to pandemic financial supports, as much of the country grapples with surging COVID-19 infections and new restrictions are implemented across the country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the measures in a news conference Wednesday, in which he appeared virtually. Trudeau said he was following local public health advice after six members of his staff and security detail tested positive for COVID-19. “For the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit and the Local Lockdown Program, you’ll be able to apply if you’re subject to capacity limiting restrictions,” Trudeau said.

Think, then do, guys. The other way around never works. Let this be a lesson… that you’ll probably ignore.

Have an opinion?