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McMaster COVID-19 Impact Assessment

Investigators: Dr. Stephanie Ross, Dr. Wayne Lewchuk, Dr. Peter Graefe, Mohammad Ferdosi and the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

What is the purpose of this study?
COVID-19 is having a profound impact on Canadian workers, workplaces and communities. Canadian governments have enacted policies to mitigate its economic effects. However, their appropriateness and effectiveness need assessment. As the pandemic continues to unfold, the need for timely research has become increasingly urgent. To help with this effort, we are conducting a survey to assess how COVID-19 has affected low-income and working individuals throughout Ontario.

What does your participation entail?
Do you live in Ontario? Are you 18 years or older and not retired? If so, we are inviting you to participate in a voluntary and anonymous survey which will take approximately 15 to 45 minutes to complete, depending on your circumstance. In addition to completing our first survey, we also invite you to participate in a follow up survey. If you are interested in doing that, there are instructions for you at the end of this survey. Your participation in any follow up survey is voluntary and anonymous. We invite you to complete this survey even if you do not wish to participate in a follow up survey.

The risks involved in participating in this survey are minimal. However, you may find some questions too personal or uncomfortable to answer. You do not need to answer any questions that cause you discomfort. You can decide which questions to answer. We also have a list of free mental health services available to you in case you experience discomfort and wish to make use of such resources. They are provided at the end of this survey for your ease of reference.

Are there any benefits to participating in this study?
This research may not benefit you directly. But the confidential information that we gather from you and other participants might prove useful to public bodies such as the Public Health Agency of Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada to assess community needs and implement appropriate supports during and after the pandemic.

Confidentiality
Your privacy is important to us. We do not ask for any personally identifiable information. Your identity will not be known, and your responses will remain confidential. If you wish to participate in a follow up survey, we will ask for your email address at the end of this survey so that we could send you a reminder when our follow up survey is ready. However, the email address that you provide will not be linked to your completed survey. In this way, all survey responses will remain anonymous.

What if you change your mind about participating in this study?
Your participation in this survey and any follow up one is voluntary. If you do not wish to answer any questions, you do not have to. You can decide which questions to answer. You may also freely and easily withdraw your answers to all questions at any time during the survey and no data will be collected from you. You have the option of exiting and clearing all of your responses at any time. Please note, however, that submitted surveys cannot be withdrawn. This is because all surveys are anonymized so we will not be able to identify and delete your completed survey.

Do you have questions about the study or your participation?
Please feel free to contact the investigators at: MC19IA@GMAIL.COM
Our study has been reviewed by the McMaster University Research Ethics Board and received ethics clearance. If you have concerns or questions about your rights as a participant or about the way the study is conducted, please contact: McMaster Research Ethics Secretariat Telephone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 23142 C/o Research Office for Administrative Development and Support E-mail: ethicsoffice@mcmaster.ca

How do I find out what was learned from this study?
We expect to have the findings of this survey ready for dissemination by mid-2021. The results will be made available on the School of Labour Studies website (https://labourstudies.mcmaster.ca/research). For those who agree to participate in a follow up survey and provide their email address, we will send them a copy of the findings when they are ready.