Apr 27, 2021

By Jane Brown

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The governing PCs at Queen’s Park have apparently offered to double the federal sick leave payments to $1000 a week for workers in Ontario amid the surging COVID-19 pandemic.

A Globe and Mail report published Tuesday says an April 22nd letter to Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland from Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy suggests that the province’s proposal is the simplest and fastest way to increase the use of the existing federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.

Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones explained on Tuesday morning, the federal program needs to be updated and expanded.

“We are calling on the federal government to do the right thing because this is a national issue that needs to be dealt with and we’ll continue to work with them and encourage them to make improvements so we can have better systems, so more people can apply because you shouldn’t have to choose between your job and your health,” Jones said during an interview with CP24.

The current federal program provides $500 a week for up to four weeks to workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are required to isolate because of a workplace outbreak.

Monday, the Ford PCs voted down a Liberal private members bill to provide 10 paid sick days for Ontario workers.

Currently in Ontario, there is no legislation to mandate employers provide sick pay to employees who stay home because they feel unwell.

Last week, Premier Doug Ford promised his government would provide the best paid sick leave program in North America.

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