Canucks offer to deploy workers to short-staffed seniors’ care homes

The five major sports teams in Toronto have joined together to create a fund to assist arena workers and support staff, and Montreal Canadiens have announced they will pay arena staff during the suspension.

The Vancouver Canucks have offered to divert some of their arena staff — who are currently not working due to the NHL season being on pause — to some Vancouver-area care homes that are facing staffing shortages amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thankful to the Vancouver Canucks for their generous offer of support which is a huge morale boost for people working on the front lines of this crisis,” Daniel Fontaine, BC Care Providers Association CEO, said in a release published to BCPA’s website. “While this is a challenging time for all of us, it’s important that we come together to lend a helping hand to those in need.”

Having additional workers deployed to care homes will provide relief to seniors’ care providers, allowing them to augment cleaning protocols to help prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading at their sites, BCPA says.

This new deployment plan will run in tandem to Canucks Sports and Entertainment’s previously announced internal program to provide financial support to part-time employees.

“In addition to our internal program to financially support our part-time employees, we have been busy exploring different ways to help our employees through this difficult time,” Trent Carroll, the Canucks chief operating officer, said in the release. “BC Care Providers Association is providing support to the most vulnerable in our community and we are so pleased to be able to partner with them on a program that will help those in need, while also providing some temporary opportunities for our part-time employees.”

Canucks staff will be tasked with a range of responsibilities, including cleaning, security, front-desk greeting and food preparation.

“Very proud of the Canucks staff offering to fight for those most vulnerable to COVID-19 by helping at under-staffed seniors care homes in the region,” Francesco Aquilini, owner of the Canucks and Rogers Arena tweeted Sunday night.

Worldwide, the COVID-19 epidemic has sickened more than 167,000 people, according to a New York Times database of reported cases, as of Sunday evening. At least 6,304 people have died, including 3,091 outside of mainland China.

In Canada, there have been 304 confirmed reported cases as of Sunday night, according to the government of Canada’s official site.

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