Jagmeet Singh: From sick leave to child care, Trudeau has failed workers

WHILE celebrating Labour Day with workers, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in Hamilton, Ontario, on Monday announced his plan to help them get through the fourth wave and into the recovery. While the pandemic has exposed many of the ways Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau has made it harder for the working class to get by, Singh said his plan will fix these problems and help working people care for their families.

“For many working people, there has never been a meaningful option to stay home when sick, whether because their employer discouraged it or because they couldn’t afford it—and the pandemic only made it worse,” said Singh. “For a year and a half, while we fought for paid sick leave, Justin Trudeau refused to act and even fought against it.”

For 18 months, while Canadians went to work sick and ended up in hospital or worse, Trudeau refused to make sick days a reality. He even suggested it wasn’t possible. Still, Singh said he continued to call on Trudeau, at least 22 times, to implement mandatory paid sick leave to keep Canadians safe.

Singh said that now, after months of inaction and condescension, after other countries moved ahead, after introducing a failure of a plan and refusing to fix it, and continuing to leave people exposed to risk, Trudeau is trying to convince working people they should believe, this time, he’ll do what he says.

Singh promised to immediately implement 10 days of paid sick leave for workers in federally regulated workplaces, and to fix the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit so more Canadians have access to paid leave when and how they need it.

The NDP said this commitment is one piece of Singh’s plan to support workers. The plan addresses longstanding failures and includes:

  • Universal child care for $10 a day;
  • A $20 federal minimum wage;
  • Changes to EI to cover more people; and
  • Protections for pensions

“Even before the pandemic, it was getting harder for working people to make ends meet and support their families,” said Singh. “My plan will create a Canada that supports the working class and works for everyone. New Democrats are with working people. It’s in our DNA. And we won’t stop fighting for you.”