Today, Ontario has reported an additional 1023 cases of COVID-19, including 280 here in Toronto. This means that the seven-day average now stands at 1099, a slight decrease from yesterday.
As we continue to grapple with the pandemic, I want to remind everyone of just how important it is that we’re all wearing our masks, washing our hands, maintaining our physical distance, and only leaving our homes for essential purposes to slow the spread of COVID-19. Especially with the rise of more contagious variants of COVID-19, anything that we can do now to reduce the spread is incredibly important.
We need paid sick days and paid sick leave in Ontario, to ensure that no one is forced to work when they’re sick. Frankly, long before COVID-19, this should have been guaranteed to all workers, but of course, the realities of the pandemic have made this even more urgent. Right now, an estimated 60% of Ontarians do not have permanent paid sick days, and that number is much higher among low-income workers.
It’s not right to force people to choose between putting food on their table and going to work sick.
The bill introduced by NDP MPP Peggy Sattler today, the Stay Home if You Are Sick Act, would have given workers a guaranteed 14 days of government-paid sick days during a pandemic, on top of permanent paid sick days – which would be embedded in employment law.
This is a concept that the people of Ontario support.
But today, this common-sense policy proposal was voted down by the Ford government – who have continued to refuse to make this change that ought to have been enshrined in the laws of Ontario many years ago.
Regardless of this setback, we will continue to fight for paid sick days moving forward. We know that Ontario needs this legislation, and regardless of the indifference of the PC government to the harm they are causing, we will not stop working to bring this positive change to the workers of Ontario.
During this pandemic, we’ve seen many members of our community step up to make a real difference, and today I want to recognize Patrice Pollack, the mind behind Bread & Better, a home-base sourdough bakery in our community, who is donating a portion of her proceeds to SickKids, supporting Project Halo, a campaign working to raise $1 million dollars for SickKids.
If you interested in finding out more about Bread and Better, click here.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Project Halo, click here.
Finally, with International Women’s Day just around the corner, I am excited to share with you the Ontario NDP’s Community Champions. This International Women’s Day, the Ontario NDP will be celebrating the extraordinary ways that women have been supporting their communities throughout this pandemic.
To nominate a champion, click here.