Wednesday, 4 Aug 2021

‘It’s a shock’: Coaldale man shares story of being laid off amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rabiae (Rob) Noordhof was laid off from his shipping job at McCain Foods on April 7 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and says this is the first time he’s ever been laid off from a job.

“It’s a shock, when you’re used to working for someone,” Noorhof said.

“I’m about supplying for my family and making sure we’re provided for, I don’t like not having that ability.”

His wife isn’t able to work because of a disability, and takes care of three of their four kids who still live at home.

“It creates a lot of its own stressors, especially for my wife too… she stays home with them and helps with the school work and does that and that can be a fight,” Noordhof said. “This is a very stressful time, not just for me, for not being able to work, but it’s also for her, for my kids and for everybody else,” he added.

Noordhof didn’t qualify for Alberta’s emergency isolation support funding because it ended the day before he was laid off.

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Although he will qualify for the national emergency response benefit, he said he won’t see that money until the end of the month.

He said he’s also in the process of applying for employment insurance, but would much rather be working.

“I don’t like to not work. I don’t like to sit on the system and just wait out my time,” Noordhof said.

“I’ve been looking for part time, temporary work. Something I can do in the meantime to kind of mitigate.”

The family is doing their best to adjust to the new circumstances.

“My kids seem to be coping for the most part, obviously when it comes to their school work, they want to do it and they want to fight about it, but that’s just the way it is,” he said.

“So, we’re taking it a day at a time, each day brings a new challenge and each day gives you another opportunity.”

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