Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario

NDP looks for all-party support to pass three urgent COVID-19 support bills Tuesday

Published on February 16, 2021

QUEEN’S PARK — Andrea Horwath’s Official Opposition will ask all MPPs to pass three bills Tuesday – giving people some of the help they need to get through the pandemic.  
“People have faced misery, loss, isolation and financial challenges during this pandemic,” said Horwath. “They can’t wait any longer for the help and hope they need. The NDP has a package of solutions to help people, and we’re looking for all-MPP support to pass the first three bills in that package today, so we can help stop the spread, and give working folks and vulnerable people in care more help to get through this.”
Paid Sick Days
Peggy Sattler (London West) introduced the Stay Home if You Are Sick Act in 2020. It will give workers paid sick days during the pandemic, as well as permanent paid sick days.
“No one should have to work next to a coworker with a cough, or feel forced to work with a fever coming on. No student should be sent to school if they have mild symptoms. But that’s what will continue to happen while Ontario refuses to give workers paid sick days. It’s irresponsible and dangerous to begin re-opening the province without the paid sick days health care experts say are needed to stop workplace and community spread,” said Sattler.
Four Hours of Hands On Care for long-term care residents
Teresa Armstrong (London Fanshawe) introduced the Time to Care Act in 2020, but the NDP has introduced the same bill four times since 2016. The Time to Care Act will guarantee a minimum of 4.1 hours of hands on care per resident per day, by adding staff to the long-term care system.
“Even before COVID, too many of our beloved parents and grandparents were left to languish in long-term care without enough staff to help them with basic needs and hygiene. The pandemic has left people living in a humanitarian crisis, crying out for care or even food and water. This problem has been growing for years, with government after government’s cuts, underfunding and privatization. But we can start to fix it right now, today. With enough staff to deliver four hours of hands on care to every residents every day, staff will have the time to listen, and to provide comforting care,” said Armstrong.
Essential Caregiver Rights

Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West) introduced the More Than a Visitor Act bill in 2020. It will guarantee that essential caregivers can’t be separated from the loved ones that need their help in long-term care and other congregate care settings. 
“Family members aren’t just visitors for their loved ones in congregate care settings – they’re essential to their health and well-being, and an integral part of their care plan. We’ve heard too many stories during this pandemic of vital designated caregivers being locked out, causing mental, emotional and physical distress for their loved one in the care setting. The More Than a Visitor Act will stop government and corporations from locking out designated essential caregivers, and ensure that vulnerable people can always have their designated caregiver safely at their side,” said Gretzky.
The Official Opposition will use unanimous consent motions to call on all MPPs to pass these three bills into law on Tuesday morning at roughly 10:30.