For Immediate Release

 

March 17, 2020

 

COPE joins calls for immediate COVID action by all governments, to support Laid-off workers, evicted tenants, immigrants, the poor, and street-homeless 

VANCOUVER–COAST SALISH TERRITORIES--The Coalition of Progressive Electors is calling on all levels of government to act now to stop the COVID virus.

 

“If Doug Ford, a Conservative Ontario Premier, can ban evictions and order sheriffs to halt scheduled evictions, our NDP provincial government should be able to do the same,” said Jean Swanson, COPE’s elected city councillor.“People who are isolating themselves to protect others, or laid off because businesses are closing, shouldn’t be hit by the added crisis of eviction.”

 

The province must also guarantee free health care for everyone, regardless of immigration status.  “If people with precarious immigration status feel like they will be charged for health care or COVID testing, or fear being reported to Canadian Border Security, they will be reluctant to seek the care that they need and that puts everyone at risk,” added Swanson.

 

The federal government needs to immediately assure all workers that they can get expanded EI payments with no waiting period.  “This means workers who are sick, are self-isolating, and also workers who lose their jobs or have reduced hours because COVID is forcing the businesses they work in to close or reduce services and hours,” said COPE co-chair Nancy Trigueros.

 

“We also need a huge effort by all levels of government to help people who live in Single Room Occupancy Hotels, homeless shelters, and people who are homeless on the street,” added Trigueros. “We need better cleaning in the SROs.  People in shelters need to have information and new places to live because the crowded shelters are breeding grounds for illness.  People who are homeless need basic sanitation facilities, soap, and good food.  And we need places where any of these folks can self-isolate if they are vulnerable (which many are) or sick.”

 

COPE supports calls from the Vancouver Tenants Union here and the Vancouver and District Labour Council link here.

 

“These are issues I’m working on as a city councillor,” said Swanson, who urged anyone who is threatened with eviction from their home because of this health crisis should contact her at city hall so she can see if it can be prevented.

 

Please see COPE’s list of immediate action demands Here.

 

Contact: Jean Swanson 604 729 2380

   Nancy Trigueros, COPE Co-Chair, 604 724 4580

COPE Calls for Immediate COVID action