The stay-at-home order is yet another sign of the Conservative Government’s deep political failure during this pandemic, says CUPE Ontario.

“Every single expert makes it clear that the people contracting COVID-19 in this third wave are essential front-line workers and members of racialized communities,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “A stay-at-home order not only fails to deliver what we need to stay healthy – it’s actually just a political move to scapegoat everyday Ontarians.”

“What we need is a vaccine rollout plan which immediately includes workers in factories, grocery stores, schools, shelters, transit, childcare, in agriculture and food production,” added Hahn. “We need one that prioritizes migrant workers, as well as Black, racialized, and Indigenous communities that have been impacted the most.”

CUPE Ontario, representing 280,000 public sector workers, continues to call for legislated paid sick days; expanded contract tracing and testing; a supply of appropriate PPE for all workers; and measures like smaller class sizes and improved ventilation to make schools safe.

“To be successful, any stay-at-home order must include legislated paid sick days,” said Hahn. “Ontarians are tired of the seesaw. Let’s get off this cycle of opening then closing and finally do what’s needed to beat COVID-19 once and for all. After a year of this, we’ve learned a lot about what we need to stay safe. It’s time for the Ford Conservatives to listen.”