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April 26th, 2021

Jagmeet Singh again calls on Liberals to fix paid sick leave to save Canadians’ lives

The recent death of a teenager to COVID-19 shows the devastating impacts of the pandemic in vulnerable communities and the need for paid sick leave for workers

OTTAWA — On Monday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh urged Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to fix the paid sick leave program once and for all to make it more accessible to workers who need it. While the Liberals promised the provinces and territories they would implement a federal program that would offer 10 paid sick days, the many issues with the program are precluding people who really need it from accessing it.

“We have people dying in this country and workers are going to work sick because they cannot access paid sick leave,” said Singh. “We need to save lives. We know the answers—the experts are clear: we need better access to paid sick leave and to vaccinate the communities who need help the most. The Liberals need to step up instead of waiting idly by while families lose their loved ones to this virus.”

For the paid sick leave program to work like it should, the Liberals must immediately fix the program like we proposed months ago by allowing the sick leave to be taken one or two days at a time, giving a full income replacement and sending the income replacement to workers in a timely manner. The Liberals must also legislate 10 paid sick days in the Canada Labour Code for federally regulated workplaces. In the short term, the Liberals must build a program that reimburses employers instead of putting the onus on workers to apply for the program.

“Justin Trudeau’s Liberal must fix the federal paid sick leave program to make it more accessible. Lives depend on it,” said Singh. “People working on the front lines need to be protected from this crisis, and what we’re seeing — in places like the Peel region and in Toronto — is that communities most affected by the spread of COVID-19, don’t have access to vaccines. The Liberals need to do everything they can to fix this.”