Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


Doug Ford confirms that paid sick days are coming for Ontario workers

Premier Doug Ford addresses the media Premier Ford Is In Isolation
Hannah Rogers | 22 April, 2021, 21:22

Premier Doug Ford promises his government will create a COVID-19 paid sick-leave program for workers after months of refusing to do so.

A statement from Doug Ford's office also says the premier has tested negative for COVID-19 himself but will follow all public health advice for close contacts of positive cases, including isolating.

For weeks, doctors have been sounding the alarm that essential workers are bearing the brunt of new COVID-19 infections, and one warehouse union rep says his members are afraid to go to work.

"This experience, this pandemic is something that has affected every single person", Ford said.

Ford has resisted providing paid sick days, pointing to the federal program.

The decision marks a reversal of course for the head of Ontario's provincial government, who previously said existing federal leave benefits were sufficient. He said that some employers have made big profits during the pandemic and that they should share the wealth with those who helped build those profits while risking their health.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath called on the government to do more immediately - including giving workers sick pay, closing non-essential businesses and sending more vaccines to hotspots.

Ontario's science advisers have criticized the restrictions on outdoor activities, saying they will harm children and those who don't have access to their own green space. I know we got it wrong. "We wanted to clarify and put in one place everything that we really feel that needs to be done at this stage".

In his first news conference since announcing new police powers and the closure of playgrounds, Premier Doug Ford offered an apology.

In a release, Ottawa police said it will instead deploy officers on a rotating schedule of checkpoints at all interprovincial crossings in the city until the provincial order expires. "Their system is broken so we are going to take action ourselves".

Public health experts, labour groups and local officials have been calling for these supports for months, arguing it would reduce COVID-19 spread in workplaces.

In addition, as of Wednesday April 21st, there are 20 Shoppers' locations in hot spot communities in Toronto, Peel and York, which are offering the COVID vaccine around the clock.

At a small downtown Toronto pharmacy, Klaus Mienkamper - a father of two - filled out his paperwork as he prepared to get the shot.

"I know many people continue to be unhappy right now and I understand and accept the responsibility for that", Ford said. "I just want to get on with it".

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