Trudeau pushing for 10 paid sick days per year Canada-wide

Trudeau pushing for 10 paid sick days per year Canada-wide
File Photo
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wears a mask at the House of Commons on May 20, 2020.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that the federal government is engaged in ongoing discussions with the provinces to give workers 10 days of paid sick leave a year as the country deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

During his routine press conference, Prime Minister Trudeau suggested that he and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh are in agreeance that in order to get beyond this crisis, workers need to be treated fairly as more citizens return to jobs.

“Nobody should have to choose between taking the day off work due to illness or being able to pay their bills,” said Trudeau from outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. “Just like nobody should have to choose between staying home with COVID-19 symptoms or being able to afford rent or groceries.”

Trudeau said that in addition to the 10 days of paid sick leave per year being discussed with provinces, the Liberals are considering other mechanisms for the longer term to support workers with sick leave. The prime minister pointed out that already a “number of premiers” are on board with the paid sick leave, noting the idea was first brought up by B.C. Premier John Horgan a few weeks ago.

That appears to meet a key demand from Singh, in exchange for the New Democrats’ support for a motion to limit sittings and votes in the House of Commons through the summer.

Singh laid out the demands on Monday morning, shortly before a small number of members of Parliament returned to the House of Commons to begin debate over the future of parliamentary sittings for as long as several months.

The debate will revolve around a Liberal proposal to waive “normal” House of Commons sittings in favour of expanding the special COVID-19 committee that has acted as a sort of stand-in for the past month.

Because they hold only a minority of seats, the Liberals need the support of at least one of the main opposition parties to pass this motion.

The Conservatives are expected to oppose the motion as they push for an end to the COVID-19 committee and the resumption of Commons sittings, albeit with no more than 50 MPs in the chamber at any time.

Also during his announcement, Trudeau reiterated that the application portal for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program was now open and he urged landlords to apply.

As of 8 am ET on May 25, landlords with up to ten tenants in BC, Alberta, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces were eligible to apply.

Starting Tuesday, May 26, landlords in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Territories would be able to apply.

For any landlords with more than 10 tenants, applications would be available later on in the week.

The CECRA benefit provides “forgivable loans to landlords so that they can lower rent by 75% for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19.”

Trudeau’s message to landlords on Monday was straight forward: “Please apply.”

The application portal can be accessed through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.



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