Ontario to provide three paid sick days for workers

Ruben Fields
April 29, 2021

Ontario used to have a paid sick leave plan under the previous Liberal government - two days annually after a week of employment.

"Effective September 2019, workers in the federally regulated workplaces and industries have access to paid leave to treat an injury or illness".

Trudeau says Ottawa has been in talks with Ontario but stressed that such leave should be delivered directly through employers.

The province also offered funding to the federal government that doubles CRSB payments to Ontario residents.

Advocates and experts have said a provincial program is needed because the federal program's funds take too long to arrive, individuals need to apply for the benefit, and some money is clawed back for taxes.

That same day, however, Ontario's finance minister wrote Ottawa to ask for their co-operation to top up the federal measure. The move would give $1,000 a week to eligible workers, he wrote. That's been said by public-health experts, unions, mayors, and councillors, and it was largely dismissed by the provincial government until two weeks ago. "The government of Canada and Ontario have done a historic job delivering the Safe Restart Agreement past year".

"I don't know if there was anybody who necessarily has passed away, but I have had members, my own members, that were in critical condition in the hospital because of COVID-19 and it's a reality that we're all living", said Mike Bellerose, President of Sudbury and District Labour Council.

The NDP is pushing for a bill that would establish permanent paid sick days plus 14 government-funded paid sick days during a pandemic or infectious disease emergency.

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Biden repeatedly hammered home that his plans would put Americans back to work, restoring the millions of jobs lost to the virus. Senators are in town, but some Republicans from that chamber are expected to skip the speech, too.

"In the year it took the Ford govt to capitulate on paid sick days, 455,000 people were infected and almost 8,000 died of COVID-19", wrote Horwath on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Canada is poised to receive its first 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, according to a federal source.

Child-care workers are the latest workplace group to be deemed eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and can, as of today, begin to book appointments using the province's call centre.

This proposed legislation requires employers provide employees with up to $200 of pay for up to three days as a result of COVID-19.

"It is not helpful to get into a blame game or get into a standoff", said Singh.

Bonnie Lysyk cited poor ministry oversight and a severe staffing shortage that existed even before the pandemic struck, saying both the provincial government and nursing-home sector had not heeded lessons from the SARS epidemic. "We just need to get it done".

That was scrapped by the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford.

"I encourage everyone who is eligible to book their appointment as soon as they can", Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a news release.

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