Ontario New Democrats Double Down in Fight for 14 Paid Sick Days

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Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP leader Andrea Horwath says the New Democrats will double down on its fight for 14 paid sick days following confirmation from the co-chair of Ontario’s Science Table that Doug Ford’s three-paid-days-only scheme will result in a longer, more devastating third wave.

“COVID-19 makes people sick for at least 14 days. Offering people only three paid days off means out-of-control workplace spread in Ontario is going to continue. People will continue to be forced to choose between going into work while suffering from COVID-19, or losing out on wages they need to keep a roof over their head and food on their table,” says Horwath.

On Thursday, the Science Table’s Dr. Adalsteinn Brown was asked by journalists if three days are enough to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in the province. “No,” he said. Brown’s presentation showed that Ontarians could still be suffering, dying and trapped in a lockdown throughout July, as a result.

“For a year, the Ford government fought against giving workers paid sick days,” says Horwath. “In that time, 455,000 Ontarians were infected and nearly 8,000 died of COVID-19. If we do not offer people enough paid sick days to stay home until they’re well, COVID-19 will continue to cause suffering, tragic death, and devastation in our province for months to come. Our frontline heroes and the people of Ontario are paying too high a price for Ford’s political decisions.”

Horwath and the NDP have been fighting for the Stay Home if You Are Sick Act, by NDP MPP Peggy Sattler (London West), which guarantees permanent paid sick days plus 14 government-funded paid sick days during a pandemic or infectious disease emergency. On Monday the NDP will again move for all party consent to pass the bill — the 28th the legislature has held on paid sick days.