May 27th, 2020
Joint Letter with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh on Paid Sick Leave
Dear business leaders,
We are writing to you today after reading the important letter you sent to the Prime Minister regarding paid sick days for workers.
We agree with you, every worker across Canada should have paid sick days.
On May 6 and again on May 13, I asked the Prime Minister to commit to making paid sick leave a reality for all workers. Last week, we pushed to have the government include paid sick leave in a motion that was to be passed in the House of Commons, and after they refused, we presented our own motion calling for the same commitment. The Liberals blocked this initiative both times.
Yesterday, however, we came to an agreement with the Liberal government that would guarantee two weeks of paid sick leave to every worker in Canada.
The NDP believes that in order to return safely to work, no one should be forced to make the impossible choice between going to work sick or being unable to pay their bills. We can only achieve this if every worker has access to two weeks paid sick leave so they can take the time to heal and stop the spread of sickness.
We know that not all employers will be able to pay for sick leave at this time. That is why we have called on the government to look at expanding Employment Insurance or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to support the implementation of paid sick leave for all. The United States is one of many examples of countries that have overcome jurisdictional and other issues and are offering paid sick days to workers.
This is a national pandemic and we need national solutions. We are heartened that the Liberal government has agreed to our offer. It will make a real difference in the lives of many workers.
You can count on the NDP to continue to push the Liberal government to do the right thing.
Jagmeet Singh, MP for Burnaby South, Leader of Canada's NDP
Gord Johns, MP for Courtenay-Alberni, NDP Critic for Small Business and Tourism