QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the government’s announcement on paid sick days:
“It astonishes me that after 407 days since the first COVID State of Emergency was declared in Ontario, this is the best plan Doug Ford can come up with.
This is not the best paid sick day program that the Premier promised.
Ford needs to immediately legislate at least 10 paid sick days that are permanent, seamlessly accessible and immediately available to all workers, including gig workers.
I was hopeful that after the Premier took taxpayer-funded paid sick days to isolate after a workplace exposure, he would have had a change of heart.
But Ford’s plan falls well short of providing the protection workers need. Workers need more than 3 temporary paid sick days for a virus that requires people to isolate for a minimum of 10 days.
And let’s not forget that it will take more than just paid sick days to keep our workplaces safe, which is where the majority of COVID spread is happening.
Safe workplaces mean safe communities — the science is clear.
Ontario needs a comprehensive safe workplaces plan that includes:
- legislating 10 paid sick days, and providing paid time off for workers to get vaccinated and tested
- mandating medical grade PPE and implementing rapid testing in essential workplaces
- targeting high-risk workplaces with accessible, on-site mobile vaccine clinics
- temporarily closing all workplaces that aren’t truly the most essential”