Canucks offer to deploy out-of-work staff to seniors' care homes

Mar 16 2020, 11:12 am

With no events to host at Rogers Arena due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vancouver Canucks have offered to help out the community.

The Canucks have offered to divert some of their part-time staff, who are no longer working due to event cancellations, to some Metro Vancouver care homes facing staffing shortages.

“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,” said BC Care Providers Association (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 BCCPA says they’re looking for “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 (including front desk/greeting) over the next few weeks. SafeCare BC will ensure workers are provided with “basic workplace health and safety training in key areas,” the BCCPA adds, including “infection prevention and control and violence prevention,” prior to their arrival at worksites.

The BCCPA is recommending to the federal government that income earned by workers during this period should be exempt from Employment Insurance deductions.

Additional workers will provide “much-needed relief” to seniors’ care providers, the BCCPA says, allowing them to “augment protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus at their sites.”

“Very proud of the Canucks staff offering to fight for those most vulnerable to COVID-19 by helping at under-staffed seniors care homes in the region,” said Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini on his personal Twitter account.

Part-time arena workers have been a hot topic of conversation ever since leagues across North America halted operations last week. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban quickly offered to pay hourly paid staff as if the games were still being played, and a number of other pro teams have followed suit. The Canucks announced on Friday that they will have a program in place for part-time staff who “require support.”

The BCCPA says it will work with the Ministry of Health to facilitate this initiative and explore partnerships with other organizations to expand its reach beyond Metro Vancouver.

“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,” said Canucks COO Trent Carroll. “In addition to our internal program to financially support our part-time employees, we have been busy exploring different 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.”