Province closes emergency isolation support program
CALGARY -- Alberta's emergency isolation support program was meant to be both a stop-gap while federal assistance was arranged, and to encourage people with flu-like symptoms to isolate at home, even if it meant losing a paycheque.
For many it became a source of frustration rather than relief.
"I finally got through and I think I was like 23,700 in line," said Mike Rae, who lost two weeks of work while he stayed home with a flu.
"I think the idea of the system is wonderful, but it’s either so overloaded or so poorly set up that we’re not getting to see the benefits of it."
Dozens of people contacted CTV News about similar problems with the online system, some reporting spending days trying to apply for the one-time $1146 payment.
Once they were able to log on to the system, some found their applications suddenly rejected with no explanation.
Premier Jason Kenney said Monday the website was simply not ready for the overwhelming volume of traffic.
In all, nearly 80,000 applications have been approved and paid out — $91.7 million in total, about double what the government said it had originally planned.
The province also says it is continuing to process some applications and expects it will eventually approve 90 per cent of all applicants.
A provincial spokesperson would not give a total for the number of people who applied or attempted to apply.