Canada's NDP

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February 6th, 2023

NDP tables report on raises and respect for care-economy workers

OTTAWA – On Monday, Bonita Zarrillo (Port Moody-Coquitlam) tabled a report in the House of Commons on labour shortages and working conditions in the care economy — which includes sectors like health care and social services. This study, pushed by Zarrillo, comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to meet with Premiers to discuss Canada’s health-care crisis.

“This report can help fix the problems that are hurting people in our health-care system,” said Zarrillo. “Care is delivered by workers, paid and unpaid, and this report shows that we need real investment in our care economy to make sure that people receive the care they need when they need it.”

When the Trudeau Liberals took office in 2015, there were 5,810 vacant nursing jobs. At the end of 2022, vacancies hit a whopping 28,710, according to Statistics Canada. Zarrillo says that the care economy is the backbone of our economy given that every single Canadian relies on it — and calls on Canada to urgently tackle the staffing shortages.

“This report calls on the Liberal government to put in place solutions for training, recruiting, retaining and respecting nurses and other care economy workers, so that parents can be reassured that nurses and doctors will be ready when they take their child to the ER. Recognition of foreign credentials and better compensation and benefits are just some of the recommendations in the report that will help tackle staffing shortages in our care systems.”

The report also underscores that woman are overrepresented in the care economy and yet they are paid less than men in the same roles. This must change says Zarrillo.

“As the prime minister and premiers meet to discuss Canada’s health-care crisis, I urge them to take note of this timely report. I hope that they will think about the workers who have been underpaid and undervalued for decades because of gender discrimination,” added Zarrillo. “Their working conditions are directly related to the care our health-care system is capable of delivering.”