Canada's NDP

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March 13th, 2020

Canadian Workers Faced with COVID-19 Need Direct Support

OTTAWA – Today, New Democrats are calling on the Liberal government to put Canadian workers first by ensuring their package to stimulate the economy does more than just help corporations. Canadians impacted by COVID-19 can’t wait for support to stay home and pay their bills – they need help now.

“As the spread of COVID-19 continues, people are concerned not only about their health, but also about their ability to keep paying the bills and putting food on the table. The Liberals have gotten used to helping big corporations first and their announcement today continues to show that they’re leaving many people behind,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “New Democrats are focused on helping working people and small businesses who are going through these tough times.”

Despite multiple announcements, the government is not taking action to ensure Canadian workers, renters, and tax-payers are supported. Many countries such as Japan are offering support to part-time and self-employed workers, so they don’t have to worry about their bank account if they follow the advice of health officials. In Italy, where the entire country is under quarantine, all mortgage payments are suspended and, in Australia, more than six million low-income earners will receive a $750 cash payment under their government’s stimulus package.

“Canadians are afraid that they or their family will get sick. They definitely do not need the added worry of losing their pay or even worse, losing their jobs. We see that other countries are supporting their people – this government has no excuse for leaving so many Canadian workers behind,” said Singh. “We’re calling on the government to help Canadians by providing financial assistance to workers who are losing their pay and putting in place protections for renters so they continue to be safely housed.”

New Democrats are also calling on the government to make sure Indigenous communities receive the resources and supplies they need to face this pandemic. To support Canadians who are struggling financially, New Democrats are also asking for an extension of the tax filing deadline and a suspension of monthly student loan payments for people who are required to self-isolate or whose employment is impacted by COVID-19.