As the Ontraio Government emerges from its worst weekend since the pandemic began 13 months ago, there was a suggestion today that the government is now working on a paid sick leave program. Doug Ford has not been seen in public since last Friday’s news conference that triggered outrage and a revolt by Ontario’s municipal police forces, but Health Minister Christine Elliott talked to reporters today. She confirmed that the government is considering “alternatives” to the Canada Sickness Recovery Benefit to fill “gaps” in the program — first launched in the fall of 2020.
She said the Ontario government had been waiting to see if any improvements would be made to the federal sick leave program, and when it was clear there would be no changes, Ontario is now working on “filling the gaps” as she put it.
“This was a federal program that was to supply the sick benefits, it didn’t seem necessary for us to institute another program if there already was a federal program that could have been improved,” The minister said.
Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner told reporters “I’m open to having a rebate program where the employer, not the employee, can apply for government funding to backstop it.”
After the government announced its lockdown plans Friday, including giving police extraordinary powers to randomly stop pedestrians and motorists there was major pushback by the public and by Ontario’s municipal police forces. Additionally, there was criticism from the Provincial science table who openly
“If you want to get the pandemic under control you need to address this root cause,” Dr. Peter Juni, a member of the Science Advisory Table told CTV’s Your Morning. “If the province wants to get this under control and tries to do that without paid sick leave, it won’t work.”