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A significant challenge facing Canada’s current healthcare system is a lack of health human resources (HHRs). The SARS-Cov-2 pandemic has further compounded the shortage of HHRs by intensifying provider burnout, resulting in significant consequences for care at a time when health needs are at an all-time high. The pandemic has turned the shortage of HHRs into an acute labour challenge that now requires urgent attention by public health and governing authorities. Several provinces have implemented or proposed ways to temporarily tackle this issue, including two hospitals in Quebec proposing to hire unskilled workers to replace operating room nurses, and a short-term licensing policy for internationally trained physicians seen in Ontario and British Columbia. These policy interventions raise an important ethical question: in the context of a pandemic and a HHR crisis, should we permit unskilled health workers to provide care? Unskilled health workers include all individuals without a registered health professional license in their corresponding work jurisdiction. This paper conducts and disseminates an ethical analysis to provide guidance on appropriate policy development in pandemic response by answering the aforementioned question. An important distinction is made between completely unskilled workers (those with no previous healthcare training) and technically unskilled workers (those with professional credentials that are not recognized by Canada’s governing bodies) as the ethical considerations that apply to one group are different from those that apply to the other. The analysis concluded that it is ethically justifiable on the premise of minimizing harm to temporarily hire completely unskilled workers in a pandemic and extreme nurse resource crisis, with the restrictions of only providing indirect care. A recommendation was made for organizations to remove barriers to hiring unskilled workers to combat the overburdening of our nation’s already stressed healthcare system.