Those of us who are gig workers and small business owners were relieved to hear the announcement yesterday that there will be some support for people like us in this time of COVID-19. But, we're not out of the woods yet. We don't know how it’s all going to work. And if it works like employment insurance does, 55 per cent of already marginal incomes isn't much money.
On today's rabble radio, Victoria Fenner talks to three vulnerable workers. They're sharing their questions, their fears and some of the unique dynamics of their occupation in the place where they live.
1.) Alyssa Wright is a cellist, singer/songwriter, author, advocate, activist and occasionally, an actor living in Barrie, Ontario. She talks about the idiosyncracies of life as a musician, and what she hopes the government realizes about how artists work as it puts together the financial package to help them out.
2.) Hannah McIlveen is an artist, animal rights advocate and owner-operator of Open Arms Dog Daycare and Boarding in River Ryan, Nova Scotia. She lives in Cape Breton with her husband, Kevin Kiosis, a paramedic, and a veritable zoo of pets!
3.) Karen Burson has worked in a variety of food-related occupations ... everything from owning an artisan small batch ice cream shop, to municipal food policy work and to her current role as cook and food security coordinator at St. Matthew's House in North Hamilton.
And music by Alyssa Wright.
This podcast topic was partly inspired by an article written by Karl Nerenberg on Tuesday this week called "Government Must extend EI to Low-Income and Gig Workers. It's an excellent article and it was good news to hear news of financial assistance yesterday from Ottawa. Though the actions of the government will help, it's only a partial solution. You'll hear some more reasons why on today's show.
Image: Alyssa Wright by Scott Cooper. Used with permission.
Music: Alyssa Wright. My Cup. Used with permission.
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