Another day, another closure. Service Canada closed up shop at all locations across the country because of COVID-19 concerns. Now, Canadians can access services either by phone or online.
The announcement that all of the locations in Canada would be closed came late on March 26.
"COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges across our country. Service Canada employees, along with many other public servants, have been working around the clock to deliver essential supports to Canadians during this difficult time. That work continues," he said in the statement.
Since Canadians are being asked to stay home, Hussen said that the service delivery model needs to follow public health advice.
Even though you won't be able to physically access services, you can still get them online or by phone.
The most reliable way to apply for benefits like EI is still online.
Employees who worked at Service Canada locations will now be shifting to helping people over the phone.
Citizen Service Officers will be giving personalized service support as well.
"This will allow more Canadians to get the support they need, while better protecting both them and our staff," Hussen said.
We want to be sure Canadians have access to the benefits Service Canada offers and relies on. After reviewing our o… https://t.co/NUdepImvMB— Ahmed Hussen (@Ahmed Hussen)1585277831.0
Today's announcement will ensure that more Canadians can get the services they need. https://t.co/vsPtQR9zo3 (3/3)— Ahmed Hussen (@Ahmed Hussen)1585278023.0
In Ontario, people actually lined up outside of Service Canada locations to try and get help during the global pandemic.
According to CTV News, many came out to meet with someone in person because they tried to apply for EI through other methods but had some issues.
Notices were put online by Service Canada asking people to keep a safe distance from each other while waiting in line.
#Everybody - we must #PlanktheCurve for 🇨🇦! ➡️#PhysicalDistancing: keep 2 metres away from others; no visitors, no… https://t.co/KjQetjDMZb— Dr. Theresa Tam (@Dr. Theresa Tam)1585162684.0
"This is an evolving situation, and we will continue to make sure our response reflects the unprecedented challenges we face. Along with serving Canadians, health and safety is and will remain our top priority," said Hussen.
The new Emergency Response Benefit for those who lose their income because of COVID-19 but don't qualify for EI will have its own online application portal.
That benefit will give people $2,000 a month for the next four months and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hopes to have the service running in early April.