Right now, there is overwhelming support for paid sick days because you raised your voice! Workers, healthcare providers, medical officers and over 25 mayors in Ontario know that permanent, fully paid sick days can slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our communities far into the future.
In December, the Ontario NDP introduced Bill 239, the “Stay at Home if you are Sick Act.” The bill proposes legislating seven permanent paid sick days and 14 more paid sick days during health emergencies. However, the Ford government responded by closing the legislature instead of ensuring essential workers had paid sick days. The result was a rapid increase in infection rates.
Lily Wong, who works in a nursing home as a dietary aid, told the Toronto Star that in over 25 years of working in Toronto, “she has never had a paid sick day or made over $20 an hour” . Millions of essential workers in low-income jobs and high-risk sectors are in the same boat. Many of us can’t afford to lose any pay when we’re sick, getting a COVID-19 test, or in quarantine.
Now that the Ontario Green Party and the Ontario Liberal Party support Bill 239, we are one step closer to ensuring this vital labour protection. But for paid sick days to become a reality, workers need all political parties to support Bill 239. Will you help convince Premier Ford and his Conservative government that paid sick days save lives?
When our Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) return to Queen’s Park on Tuesday, February 16, join the Car Caravan for Paid Sick Days! Bring your car to Hart House at the University of Toronto at 9:30 am (register here).
If you can’t join the caravan, you can LIGHT IT UP for Paid Sick Days on Monday, February 15! This Family Day, you and your loved ones can make home-made paid sick days signs to put up on your doors and windows. Then, between 5:30 – 6:30 pm, light a candle or use your cell phone to shine a light on the need for paid sick days. Please take a photo or selfie and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the message: #LightItUp for #PaidSickDays because #PaidSickDaysSaveLives. Don’t forget to tag your MPP and demand support for Bill 239! You can also call and email your MPP using this script supporting Bill 239.
If we keep raising our voices together, we can win paid sick days for workers and our communities!
 Toronto Star: Who is an essential worker in the GTA? Millions of us, data shows