News

2021 Budget

BUDGET 2021: Universal child care, $15 minimum wage, but something’s missing

Since the start of this pandemic, we have been vocal in the fight to move Canada forward together.

Thanks to the efforts of folks like you, the federal government announced significant investments towards our priorities in this budget.

These priorities include:

⇨ A national, high-quality, public, accessible early learning and child care system;
⇨ Green jobs and a plan to get people who lost their job back to work;
⇨ Support for low wage and racialized workers; and
⇨ Strengthening Employment Insurance & changes to improve labour standards.

And finally -- at long last -- a $15 federal minimum wage.

But we are disappointed the government missed an opportunity to move forward on pharmacare.

Millions of Canadians were struggling to pay for prescriptions before this pandemic. Things have only gotten worse for workers who have lost their jobs and benefits.

It is not too late for this government to get it right on pharmacare. Send Ottawa a strong message today: https://canadianplan.ca/pharmacare-now/

Our fight for pharmacare won’t end here. A fair and prosperous Canada includes a national, universal pharmacare plan.

Stay strong,

Standing up for workers and their families

 

 

Grey Bruce Labour Council
http://www.greybrucelabour.ca/

BUDGET 2021: Universal child care, $15 minimum wage, but something’s missing

BUDGET 2021: Universal child care, $15 minimum wage, but something’s missing.

Since the start of this pandemic, we have been vocal in the fight to move Canada forward together.

Thanks to the efforts of folks like you, the federal government announced significant investments towards our priorities in this budget.

These priorities include:

⇨ A national, high-quality, public, accessible early learning and child care system;
⇨ Green jobs and a plan to get people who lost their job back to work;
⇨ Support for low wage and racialized workers; and
⇨ Strengthening Employment Insurance & changes to improve labour standards.

And finally -- at long last -- a $15 federal minimum wage.

But we are disappointed the government missed an opportunity to move forward on pharmacare.

Millions of Canadians were struggling to pay for prescriptions before this pandemic. Things have only gotten worse for workers who have lost their jobs and benefits.

It is not too late for this government to get it right on pharmacare. Send Ottawa a strong message today: https://canadianplan.ca/pharmacare-now/

Our fight for pharmacare won’t end here. A fair and prosperous Canada includes a national, universal pharmacare plan.

Stay strong,

Standing up for workers and their families

 

Grey Bruce Labour Council Day of Mourning Press Release

Grey Bruce Labour Council-For Immediate Release

Day of Mourning-April 25th, 2021

Locked down again, yet there is an absolute need to observe the annual Day of Mourning for workers killed, injured and made ill in their places of work and because of their workplaces this April 28th. “There is a difference between workers killed, injured and made ill in their workplaces and because of their workplaces,” says Grey Bruce Labour Council Secretary, Amy Stephen. “Before the vast number of COVID-19 tragedies in workplaces, it was not uncommon to see annual Ontario workplace deaths quoted between fifty and one hundred. This is only part of the story and often equates to situations such as falls from heights with immediate and tragic outcomes. Not told in this scandalously low number are the hundreds of deaths each year as a result of disease associated with exposure to chemicals and carcinogens in the workplace. Now, add the scores of deaths connected to COVID-19, and stopping to observe and remember those lost to workplace carnage and death in Ontario and around the world is absolutely required.”

“For decades the Grey Bruce Labour Council, with our affiliates, community and corporate partners have ensured that April 28th is observed across our two-county region. If it were not for the Canadian Labour Movement in CUPE and the Canadian Labour Congress pushing the need for this day over 30 years ago, along with organizations like labour councils and their affiliates and allies, it is most unlikely that any day or time would have been set aside to observe and remember our colleagues, sisters, brothers, friends, family and loved ones lost to the daily toll of working for a living,” says Grey Bruce Labour Council President, Kevin Smith.

“The global pandemic has not stopped falls, electrocutions, burns, illness like occupational cancer, workplace violence and needless exposure to hazardous chemicals,” notes Grey Bruce Labour Council VP for Grey, Chris Stephen.

Grey Bruce Labour Council VP for Bruce, Dave Trumble, says that, “workplace horror stories we have come to know before COVID-19 are reason enough to stop and commit to what every Day of Mourning demands of us. To Fight for the Living and Mourn for the Dead! The catastrophic numbers as a result of COVID-19 in workplaces, in addition to all that has been recounted, means that we must stop this year and every year going forward to make sure that the call to duty, Fight for the Living, is never far from our thoughts and that there will never be a step back when it comes to health and safety.”   

Anna Morrison, Grey Bruce Labour Council Sergeant at Arms, recounts, “that our labour council is profoundly fortunate to have at the table educators, education support workers, healthcare workers, public service such as utility and corrections workers along with private and public sector workers from both provincial and federal jurisdictions. In this powerhouse cross section of workers, the Grey Bruce Labour Council continues to make sure that the annual Day of Mourning in 2021 will be observed and will be observed for all time as we go forward and hopefully past the global pandemic one day. There will be a time when there will be no memory of a time when we did not stop to Fight for the Living and to Mourn for the Dead.”

Chris Stephen asks, “that no matter where you are and no matter how limited the ability because of our lockdown, that each of us takes a moment to observe and remember and to look for virtual observances such as those that will be made available by the labour council and labour in general.”

Grey Bruce Labour Council Day of Mourning messages

https://greybrucelabour.wordpress.com/2021/04/25/grey-bruce-labour-council-vp-bruce-county-message-day-of-mourning-2021/?fbclid=IwAR00rA9PEvRKXTxOa_E4SUAAKCqM-DPZ_zemQebR63J__7SqwuB1eSAmPWU

Day of Mourning, Calling for Paid Sick Days

Subject: Day of Mourning: We’re calling for paid sick days

Preview: Sign up for a live training on paid sick days on April 28. We need you there.

 

Canada’s unions are honouring the lives of workers who were killed or injured on the job in the week leading up to April 28, Canada’s National Day of Mourning.

 

Frontline and essential workers were told they were heroes for helping Canada’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. But here we are -- still fighting for paid sick days -- a year after the pandemic began.

 

Canada’s decision-makers aren’t listening. That stops now.

 

It’s not enough to just organize offline anymore, especially during a pandemic. We need to use digital tools to meet people where they are at, engage them, and mobilize them to take action.

 

Join CLC’s Saskatchewan Representative, Deanna Ogle, on Wednesday, April 28 at 7 pm Eastern Time to learn how to use phone banking to engage supporters to fight for paid sick leave, better wages and more. We'll practice making phone calls for the Day of Mourning.

 

[BUTTON TEXT]: RSVP today!

 

As we mourn for the dead, the fight for the living must continue. We need you to join that fight.

 

Get started by RSVPing today:

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwvfuispjkiH9OgY5-SoAxRQ6L3fWzAMuBP

Hope to see you there,

Standing up for workers and their families

 

Ontario Health Coalition, Protecting Workers

Record Case Numbers, COVID-19 Third Wave Emergency:

Ontarians Need Clearer Message, Stronger Protections- Coalition

 

Yesterday was the worst day for the spread of the pandemic so far. In one 24-hour period, 4,456 Ontarians were diagnosed with COVID-19. In that single day, 21 lives were lost to COVID-19. 

 

The 3rd wave is devastating, deadly, and it is overwhelming our health care system.

 

Yesterday’s 4,456 new infections marks the single day highest rate of virus spread of any point in the pandemic. (The previous worst day which peaked at 4,249 was on January 8.)

 

1,646 Ontarians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (up 133 since yesterday). Ontario is now reporting 619 patients in Intensive Care Units with COVID-19, 408 of whom are intubated. There are more Ontarians struggling to survive in our ICUs than at any time during the first two waves of the pandemic.  

 

 

“We fear that Ontario employers and Ontarians have not comprehended fully the gravity of the pandemic at this point. It is imperative that employers understand the risk they are putting their employees in by requiring them to work on site.  We need stronger protections for workers, paid sick time, and public health measures need to be much more seriously enforced, particularly workplace shutdowns and safety protections for workers,” warned Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition. “The third wave is turning into a tidal wave, and it is devastating to our health care system.  The numbers represent real people, many of whom are seriously ill and the number of human beings dying in our province as a result of the virus is far beyond any level of acceptability.”

 

News from the frontlines:

 

“We had 85 people in the waiting room. Normally we have 10-15 and the wait times were around 7 or 8 hours. One person with a punctured lung waited 8 hours to get treated. It’s gotten really bad. People, who I work with, are burning out it has just become too much strain.” Dr. Kashif Pirzada, Toronto Emergency Physician, April 9.

 

“I have a patient in his early 30s in my ICU with COVID-19.  He was completely healthy prior to acquiring his infection at work.  He is not an essential worker.  He works in the financial services industry in an office job. But his employer mandated that he show face time at the office and come in.” Dr Michael Warner, ICU Doctor, Michael Garron Hospital (Toronto), April 5.

 

“We are seeing that in our area up to 90% of the cases are the variants.  Our sentiment is that it never should have come to this. We’ve been begging for weeks.  We saw this coming and we have been begging for weeks for the government to make the right decision and shut down the province and shut down the schools.” Dr Lisa Salamon-Switzman, Toronto ER Physician, April 9.

 

“Saw 20 severe COVID patients yesterday, 14 were workplace related transmissions. Stay-at-home won’t fix that. Temporarily close manufacturing & distribution of non-essential goods. Do everything possible to protect essential workers: paid sick leave +N95 [masks]+2x/week rapid test + vaccinate.” Dr. Brooks Fallis, Toronto Critical Care Physician, April 9.

 

“Our ICU is at capacity. We are taking over other units in the hospital because of how many Covid patients we have & onboarding nurses from other units to help... I know 'a nurse is a nurse' but I can only imagine how overwhelmed they must be feeling right now. Third wave is real.” Critical Care Nurse, April 10.

 

“On paper Ontario has about 2300 ICU beds, in practice we have far fewer because we simply cannot staff them. We can open up SickKids to adult patients, we can more move patients to Kingston and beyond, but eventually we will run out of places to move patients because we won’t have enough trained staff to care for them.” Dr Michael Warner ICU Doctor Michael Garron Hospital (Toronto), April 10.

 

“We are losing a COVID ICU patient under age 50 every 2.8 days. In Wave 2 we lost one every 5 days and in Wave 1 we lost one every 6 days.” Dr Michael Warner, ICU Doctor Michael Garron Hospital (Toronto), April 7.

 

“It took: 5 MDs, 4 ICU RNs, 4 RTs, 1 Perfusionist and 3 Critical Care Paramedics 3 hours to save my 40-year-old COVID-19 patient.  It would have cost the Ontario Government $114 dollars to allow her husband to take a day off work from his factory in known outbreak.” 

*His patient later lost her battle with COVID-19

Dr Michael Warner ICU Doctor Michael Garron Hospital (Toronto), April 3.

 

Response to the gaining amplitude of the third wave is coming too slowly and it is risking the health and lives of Ontarians. Between April 1 when the provincial government said it was applying an “emergency brake” leaving open stores and malls with reduced capacity, and April 8 when the province finally called for a “lockdown” (which still leaves many non-essential businesses open) 24,209 Ontarians contracted COVID-19. In that 7-day period 128 Ontarians died. It is imperative that the gravity of the situation be fully understood by Ontarians. 

 

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~ Protecting Public Medicare for All ~

 

Ontario Health Coalition
15 Gervais Drive, Suite 201
Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8
[email protected]

www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca
416-441-2502