QUEEN'S PARK - The Ford government’s temporary, inadequate and COVID-related paid sick days scheme won't help Ontario workers if they - or their child - has flu, RSV, or other illnesses, putting pediatric hospitals and our communities at risk. 10 permanent paid sick days are more urgent than ever.
Other jurisdictions have legislated paid sick days because workers living paycheque to paycheque can’t afford to lose pay if they or their children are sick – especially the racialized, low-wage, and immigrant workers most likely to be denied paid sick days. The Ontario NDP will keep pushing for the Ford government to do the same.
Ms. Peggy Sattler: My question is to the Premier. Health care workers are urging MPPs to support my bill, the Stay Home If You Are Sick Act, to give Ontario workers 10 permanent paid sick days. This government’s temporary three COVID-related days to last over a pandemic that will soon be entering its third year are doing nothing to address the health care crisis that is overwhelming our pediatric hospitals. What would help are 10 permanent sick days to enable low-wage workers to stay home if their child is ill, perhaps with RSV, without losing their paycheques.
Will this government listen to advice from health care workers and vote to pass my bill today?
Ms. Peggy Sattler: Again to the Premier: This government’s record is nothing to be proud of. They cut the two paid sick days that workers had in Ontario.
Ontario is now falling behind other jurisdictions that are implementing permanent paid sick days. British Columbia has legislated five paid sick days. Federally regulated workers will soon have access to 10 paid sick days. Governments are doing this because they know that permanent paid sick days are good for workers, good for the economy and good for public health.
This government could finally show that “working for workers” is more than just an empty slogan by passing my bill to legislate 10 paid sick days. Will this government do that?