Canada’s Government Leaders Must Do More to Support Working People Thru Coronavirus Disaster

Katrina Miller, Broadbent Institute

“This pandemic has made life more difficult than ever for low-income and precarious workers. Too many people are currently unable to access Employment Insurance and worry about how they will make ends meet during this crisis.”                                       – Katrina Miller, Program Director, Broadbent Institute

A Call-Out to All of Us  from the Broadbent Institute, an independent voice for the progressive principles of its name-sake, former leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, Ed Broadbent

Posted March 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Another day of the COVID-19 pandemic and I know you are doing everything you can to protect the health and well-being of yourself and your fellow community members.

Right now, we need you to help us <https://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/covid> make sure no one goes to work sick because they are worried about paying for rent or buying groceries.

The Institute is calling on the federal government to immediately implement six changes to income supports <https://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/covid> for workers and ensure the health and well-being of Canadians.

  •  – Lower the EI sickness benefit threshold.
  • – Increase support to 80% of weekly wages
  • – Cover workers not eligible for Employment Insurance.
  • – Waive doctor’s note requirement.
  • – Support workers impacted by COVID-19 containment efforts.
  • – Provide support while processing the claim.

This pandemic has made life more difficult than ever for low-income and precarious workers. 

Too many people are currently unable to access Employment Insurance and worry about how they will make ends meet during this crisis, whether due to illness or loss of work resulting from contaminant measures.

Please sign our petition <https://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/covid> to send a message to your local Member of Parliament and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

To sign petition, click on – <https://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/covid> and share it widely wither others. And stay safe!

Those who are unable to work need to know that our government cares and that support is on the way.

Katrina Miller, Program Director, Broadbent Institute

About the Broadbent Institute – The Broadbent Institute is Canada’s leading progressive, independent organization championing change through the promotion of democracy, equality, and sustainability and the training of a new generation of leaders.

We are proud of Canada’s tradition as a diverse, fair, just, and inclusive society. These values matter to us today and they matter to our future. The vast majority of Canadians share these progressive values.

At the Broadbent Institute, we believe that the progressive principles and collective efforts that have made us who we are as a country can inform new ways of thinking and new approaches to government that equip us to address the challenges facing Canadians.

For more information on the Broadbent Institute, click on –www.broadbentinstitute.ca/ .

An Afterword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

It is good to see that Canada’s federal government and the Ontario government of Doug Ford have taken steps to protect big and small businesses during what is turning into an economic tsunami as the coronavirus now plaguing our country and this continent we live on worsens.

However, as the message above, from the Broadbent Institute, makes clear, more can and should be done to help ordinary working people through this terrible time, and especially those who are struggling, as it is, to get by on low-income jobs that offer little or nothing in the way of employment benefits or security.

With that in mind, and along with the support the Broadbent Institute has listed above, when are our provincial and federal governments going to support and pass legislation that guarantees all workers paid sick days – a benefit that was cancelled by the Ford government two years ago.

Certainly there are some businesses out there who oppose having to pay employees who are off sick. Yet how can it be in anyone’s best interest – employees, the customers or clients they serve, or the businesses they work for – to have people coming in to work sick, and possibly spreading whatever is ailing them to others, because they feel they can’t afford to stay home until they get better?

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, seen here with some of his ministers, delivering another one of his updates on what his self-described “Government for the People” is doing about the coronavirus crisis, cut some of the benefits that could help low-income working families through such a terrible time.

Even the country to the south of us – hardly a hot-bed for progressive or socialistic policies when it comes to benefits for ordinary workers – is now considering a bill called the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act and championed by Nancy Pelosi’s Congressional Democrats, that contains provisions for paid-sick days

Especially at a time like this, when we have an infectious virus out there that could kill people, it is time Canadian governments do what the United States is now considering doing and what many developed countries in Europe did years ago, and guarantee paid sick days for all working people who need them.

To check out a recent story CTV News posted on the issue of paid-sick days in Ontario, click on – https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-needs-to-reinstate-paid-sick-days-amid-covid-19-pandemic-health-care-workers-say-1.4851034

To read a recent story on the U.S.Congressional Bill offering paid sick days and other assistance to working families, click on – https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/13/white-house-and-house-democrats-agree-to-funding-package-for-paid-sick-leave-funding-for-tests/

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“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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