“When we entered into our contract with that hotel, they were not in a strike position at that time,” said Mr. Stewart in response to follow-up questions from NDP MP Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, B.C.), noting since then, things have “progressed.”
“We used the hotel facility and we also employed hotel staff in the back office elements of the operation. However, the frontline work is done by infectious control specialists which hotels do not have,” he added. Asked by Mr. Davies if he could table the contract with the committee, and by Mr. Barlow if he could share the feds’ gender-based analysis, Mr. Stewart said the agency would “have a look” at the inquiries and respond accordingly. According to local media reports, the site is primarily staffed by members of the Red Cross, which has been tapped throughout the pandemic to provide reinforcements to some sites struggling to contain the spread of the virus—notably long-term care sites in Ontario and Quebec. Still, the Unite Here has been vocal about its fears that the hotel could use the pandemic as a cover to replace laid-off workers with non-unionized employees working for lower pay.