Today the Ford Government claims to have a plan to improve paid sick leave in Ontario. The idea is to increase payments already offered through the federal government’s sick benefits, which can mean a difference of $500 per week to $1000 per week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier today the solution must involve employers as well.
During the Ontario Legislature Question Period today, Labour Minister Monte McNaughton is confirmed to have proposed the revised plan. The plan to double payments will be entirely covered by the province of Ontario. This comes 5 days after Doug Ford promised the “best paid sick days in all of North America”, even though the Ford Government has voted against paid sick days on 25 different occasions.
Public health experts say workplace outbreaks are a massive cause of increased infections in Ontario. Workers need access to paid sick days in order to limit the rate of transmission. But in 2018 the Ford Government removed a paid sick day program right when they took office. Trudeau prefers to work directly with employers to provide workers with sick leave if they have symptoms, test positive for Covid-19, or have to isolate.
Dr. Michael Warner says “workers need reassurance that their paycheck will be unchanged”. In addition, Ontario’s Solicitor General Sylvia Jones insists “On the federal government to do the right thing because this is a national issue that needs to be dealt with”.
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