More than half of Albertans still face job loss, reduced pay and hours due to pandemic: survey

Article content continued

One Calgarian whose job has almost disappeared is Heather Turner, whose work as a travel agent has been reduced to sporadically helping people whose travel plans are in limbo.

“We’re stalled in a holding pattern with the quarantine and now that travel insurance is hard to come by,” said Turner.

“I don’t see any real prospects coming up — I think it’ll come when there’s a vaccine and that likely won’t happen until mid-2021.”

But she said the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has proven a welcome fallback, though Turner wonders how some will do once it’s expired at the end of this month.

“The problem hasn’t gone away, we still have a pandemic,” she said.

It’s an uncertainty that underlies much of the homeowner and consumer mindset that can turn to panic, especially with the end to some of the federal COVID-19 benefits looming, said Sandra Landry, trustee and partner with MNP.

“Once that money stops and nobody knows if they’ll be back at work, and there’s no way to pay those creditors,” said Landry.

“People go into a panic mode and sell off their assets.”

The higher rate of stress among Albertans, she said, reflects a steady drumbeat of economic and natural disasters that have plagued the province in the last decade.

“It’s not just some small recession but a complete change of dynamic that makes it really hard to keep picking yourself up,” said Landry.

She noted the survey found 10 per cent of respondents nationally expect to declare bankruptcy and 11 per cent to pursue a consumer proposal to rearrange their debt if financial aid runs out.

View Source