Doug Ford says paid sick days are a waste of taxpayer money
During a Tuesday morning interview on CTV's Your Morning, Ontario Premier Doug Ford responded to requests for the reinstatement of paid sick leave by referring to it as a "waste of taxpayers money."
Former Premier Kathleen Wynne had previously introduced a bill that would provide employees with two days of paid emergency leave, however, Ford was quick to reverse the decision soon after taking office later that year.
Despite pressure from voters as well as provincewide MPPs to push forward legislation that would protect workers and businesses across Ontario during a deadly pandemic, Ford remained adamant in his stance.
"We aren't going to duplicate and waste taxpayers money, double dipping into their pockets," said Ford during the CTV interview.
He went on to claim that provincial sick days would simply duplicate the federal government's Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, although many have already pointed out the CRSB is designed to help those who have already tested positive for COVID-19, whereas paid sick days would instead protect workers who may be showing early symptoms.
There are growing calls for Ontario to implement a paid sick leave program. @fordnation says it would lead to ‘double dipping’ for taxpayers. Click here for our full interview with the Ontario Premier. https://t.co/tuMyV9U30J #COVID19 #onpoli pic.twitter.com/A34xg7AlxR— Your Morning (@YourMorning) February 16, 2021
The Ontario Federation of Labour later issued a statement of outrage over Ford's continued refusal to support the NDP's call for all-party consent to pass a bill that would provide seven permanent paid sick days, plus 14 additional days during a pandemic like the COVID-19 crisis.
"Legislating paid sick days is a common sense action that public health officials, mayors, and workers' advocates all agree is essential to curbing the spread of COVID-19," said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour President.
"PC MPP's decision to continue to ignore expert advice will result in preventable illnesses and deaths. This government's refusal to protect Ontarians is infuriating and heartbreaking."
The Ontario Federation of Labour, which represents 54 unions and over one million Ontario workers, has stated that despite Ford's comments they will continue to call on the Ontario legislature to pass this critical measure.
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