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Ontario Federation of Labour calls Ford government’s refusal to enact permanent paid sick days ‘shameful’

Christian Fernsby |
On November 24, in a 46 to 30 vote, Ford’s Conservative government once again blocked a Bill that would have implemented permanent paid sick days for Ontario workers.

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Bill 8, the Stay Home If You Are Sick Act, 2021, introduced by NDP MPPs Jill Andrew, Peggy Sattler, Doly Begum, and Sara Singh, would have legislated 10 permanent paid sick days, plus 14 additional days during public health outbreaks.

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is calling the Conservative government’s refusal to enact permanent paid sick days shameful.

“This government has repeatedly proven that they do not care about the health and safety of workers in Ontario,” said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour President. “Health care providers and workers’ advocates have pointed to permanent paid sick days as a common sense measure since before the COVID 19 pandemic devastated our workplaces and communities over the past two years. Yet Ford’s Conservatives have ignored experts over and over again.”

With the Worker Income Protection Benefit set to expire on December 31, the need for permanent paid sick days is even more urgent. The program was introduced in April following the most devastating waves of the COVID 19 pandemic and months of pressure. It temporarily provides Ontarians with three paid sick days.

In April, the OFL criticized the Worker Income Protection Benefit for being ‘too little, too late.’

“Cold and flu season is approaching, and the COVID 19 pandemic is not over. We need long term solutions to keep Ontarians healthy and safe at work,” said Coates. “It’s time for a government that says yes to workers’ health and safety. Ontario workers need permanent and adequate paid sick days now.”

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario.

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