January 14, 2021
Sent via email
Premier of Ontario
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Dear Premier Ford,
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the evidence has become clear: paid sick leave is essential to protecting our province from the catastrophic impacts of unchecked virus transmission, and its toll on marginalized populations.
We are a coalition of healthcare and social service providers writing to express our urgent appeal for the immediate implementation of paid sick days for Ontario workers, including temporary and precariously employed workers, as a central measure to improve population health and stop the spread of COVID-19. Our request is in addition to the benefit provided by the federal government through The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.
We request that the Government of Ontario require all employers to provide a minimum of five annual paid sick days, and that the 2021 provincial budget fund and support employers to increase this to ten annual sick days during a declared infectious disease emergency like COVID-19.
This week’s modelling shows the situation is dire and requires a swift and immediate response to prevent our health systems from becoming further overwhelmed. Employers, workers, and their communities cannot wait any longer. Due to the urgency of this matter, we are requesting your immediate response.
Allan O’Dette, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Medical Association
Sarah Hobbs, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Healthier Communities
Dr. Doris Grinspun, RN, MSN, PhD, LLD(hon), Dr(hc), FAAN, FCAN, O.ONT, Chief Executive Officer, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)
Kavita Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario
Leanne Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario College of Family Physicians
Dana Cooper MBA, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario
Jennifer Clement, Past Chair, Nurse Practitioner Led Clinics Association
Deborah Simon, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Community Support Association
Caroline Lidstone-Jones, Chief Executive Officer,Indigenous Primary Health Care Council
Hon. Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health
Hon. Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour
Dr. David Williams, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health