Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Analysis: Eight charts that explain Canada’s uneven job recovery

Marcia Mittoo, 51, Toronto

Marcia Mittoo plans to start her own business.

handout

I lost two jobs in March. I was a server in two different restaurants, and I’ve been slammed by this thing every which way. Before this, I lived quite comfortably. Now, no one cares that my car is one payment away from being taken away from me. No one cares that with my rent, I’m one month away from losing my home. My RRSP is almost down to zero, my tax-free savings account is down to zero because I can’t live my normal life.

I was a single mother. I raised two kids by working hard. We were never homeless or hungry, and now I’m going to be homeless and hungry because I can’t go to work? I have an elderly mother, and I have to make sure I get her groceries every week. If I lose my car, how do I help my mother?

I have tried to get numerous jobs since the pandemic. Two people hired me, and I got a little excited about it. One didn’t call me back to give me my schedule. The second one called me back to say, “Unfortunately, I’ve changed my mind.” This was after going through the paperwork. Is it because I’m Black? Is it because I’m 51 years old? They don’t know my experience. They don’t know I’m an amazing bartender, I’m an amazing server, I’m an amazing cook. I’m a hard, loyal worker.

Story continues below advertisement

Now I’d like to start my own business. I’d love to get a food truck. I’m very creative in the kitchen, and I specialize in Canadian and Jamaican cuisine. I put myself out there, I have an Instagram page. That’s my plan.

Steve Hardy, 57, Calgary

Petrographer Steve Hardy has plenty of oil and gas experience, but is willing to take a job in another field.

Handout

I’m a petrographer, so that’s someone who looks at drill cuttings and core for oil and gas exploration, and I’ve been doing it for about 30 years. The third week in March, I got the call saying, “We’re letting you go.” I started looking for work right away. But the job pool is quite slim here in Calgary. I ended up applying to be a school bus driver, and I’m working for them now on a part-time basis.

It’s tough when you’re making three digits, and you’re down to two. It’s tough on the family. My wife is working, thank God. We’ve got two kids, one in university and one in high school. We’re scraping by. We have food on the table. We deferred our mortgage payments, but we are selling our house to downsize.

I did look for oil and gas jobs, but you’re fighting with thousands of other people. I put résumés out to companies, and I never even got a response back. I’m willing to take a job anywhere. I’m trying to find something in mining, but I don’t have any mining experience. Mine is all oil and gas. I’m applying all over the place. I’ve got to woo somebody into giving me a chance.

Nirlep Bains, 54, Ladner, B.C.

Nirlep Bains enjoyed meeting people from around the world at her restaurant job at the Vancouver airport.

handout

I was working at the Vancouver airport in a restaurant at the international gate. On March 18, we got laid off. I was home when I received the phone call from my manager. I was shocked. I couldn’t sleep for days. The second week – my daughter also works at the airport, and she got laid off. It was a nightmare for us. I’ve been there for 14 years. I loved doing my job, and you meet people from all around the world every day. Now I have to start over again, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to get something in the same field. I’m just requesting the company, HMSHost, to give us a call to go back to work. I’ve been looking for jobs at restaurants, for cashiers, that kind of stuff. I haven’t heard anything yet. It’s like I have no future now.



Lindsay Christopher, 23, Toronto

Lindsay Christopher will study for a year as a way to pick up skills while she waits out the pandemic’s disruption of the entertainment industry.

handout

I was a full-time production manager at a casting house for commercials. As the pandemic got worse, all of our productions shut down and there was no work. So my co-worker and I, we’re both contractors, got let go toward the end of April. I’m not back at the office, but she is. I had already been figuring out other things, and I actually started my next position the day I was laid off. It was just happenstance. It was a freelance contract, and it was definitely a step down, but I wasn’t out of work completely.

I decided that since I was going to be out of full-time work for a while, I would go back and get another degree. So I enrolled for a masters of digital media. I don’t see the job market in the entertainment industry coming back for at least another year. I’ll be graduating next August, and I’m hoping that aligns with when things are able to start filming again.

Story continues below advertisement

Naden Abenes, 52, Richmond, B.C.

Naden Abenes worries being out of work could cost her her health, her financial stability – even her dogs.

handout

I was a full-time room attendant at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver, and March 15 was our last day. I’m looking for jobs, it’s just that right now, it’s all part-time. They don’t want to hire full-time and they don’t want to offer benefits. How can you survive on that? The province is offering training to become a care worker, so I’m just waiting, I put in my name.

I’ve lost a lot of weight. My anxiety got worse, and probably I’m depressed. I have trouble sleeping. I have asthma, I have arthritis. I need my medications and I have to skip some of them because I cannot afford it. Before, all my prescriptions were actually free.

Some of my friends, they’re giving me food to help me out. I’m blessed that way for now. But for how long? They’re in the same situation. I’ve had to borrow money from my brother a couple of times to stay afloat, but I don’t want to keep borrowing because he has a family. I don’t like to owe money, I have to pay all that back.

I cannot afford where I’m living right now. I’ve packed my belongings, so when the time comes I’m not going to be overwhelmed. I live alone, I only have my two chihuahuas. I’ve been asking people about a room share, but they don’t allow pets. BC Housing told me they’re really short on housing, and asked me, “Are you willing to give your pets away?” That really upset me. They help me ease my anxiety. You know how puppies are. That’s the only joy I have.


Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies