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All physical Service Canada locations are closing. This comes just as many Canadians are applying for Employment Insurance and other benefits from the Federal Government. This is in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 according to a release from the government.
The Minister of Families Children and Social Development made the announcement Thursday evening and stressed that individuals and families who are facing unemployment can still apply online.
“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,” a statement posted to the government’s website says.
“During a time when we are asking most Canadians to stay home, we need to make sure our service delivery model follows the best public health advice, while also meeting the needs of Canadians.”
“At this time, we will be closing in person Service Canada Centres. Let me be clear, Canadians will still be able to access their benefits. The best way to apply remains online.”
Many Canadians are saying online that Service Canada is an essential service. Grocery store employees are still showing up for work to serve Canadians, yet the government department which takes applications from Canadians to be paid at this moment is shutting down in person locations.
Another Canadian pointed out, not all Canadians have access to Service Canada’s website due to internet affordability and are waiting a long time on the phone to connect.
We are shutting down the nation and now the government branch responsible for making sure that those who have been shut down can get food on the table has been shut down.
Shit meet fan. https://t.co/Lx79ILpzJ2
— Cory Morgan (@CoryBMorgan) March 27, 2020
Service Canada will switch focus to serving Canadians by phone and online.