Who determines whether it is reasonable to return to work?

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2020-06-10 13:56

Much worse than part 3, from our point of view, is the treatment of people who are at this point potentially to be jailed for refusing to return to work when it’s considered reasonable and they are recipients of CERB. I wonder about the reasonableness here. It’s a subjective test. This is a wrong-headed approach to go after people and threaten them. The retroactive section has already made the Canadian Civil Liberties Association question its constitutionality.

To the minister, what’s reasonable, and in whose eyes is it reasonable? In today’s news, Hamilton’s chief medical officer says there is a spike in cases among young people, who likely were exposed while taking public transit to get to work. Their commute wasn’t safe. Who determines reasonableness in deciding it’s not safe to go back to work?

Hon. Carla Qualtrough (Delta)
2020-06-10 13:57

Madam Chair, as with the current CERB, moving forward it tries to encompass the situations of people who are unemployed, people who can’t work because of child care responsibilities, people who are ill or sick. Moving to a broad term of “reasonableness” allows us to look at the individual circumstances of the person. If we stuck to language like “suitable” or “appropriate”, that would qualify the job. We’re trying to look at the person and their particular circumstances as we work to ensure that if someone is immunocompromised and can’t take transit to their job, then it’s reasonable for them not to take that job. That’s the exact example we’re trying to encompass with broad “reasonableness” criteria.