Ontario’s legislature needs to return to Queen’s Park immediately, says CUPE Ontario.
“I know I’m not the only one glued to the news about the crisis south of the border, but it can’t be an excuse to ignore the unimaginable one that’s continuing to unfold in our province,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “We broke yet another single-day record for cases of COVID-19; people aren’t being vaccinated and have no idea when they will be; and so many are left without the fundamental supports, like paid sick time, they need.”
The union, which represents 280,000 members in the public sector, is calling on Doug Ford to recall the legislature immediately and to spend the at least $12-billion the Ford Conservatives have sitting in reserves to:
- Develop a real, comprehensive, and detailed vaccine rollout plan that’s communicated clearly to the public;
- Ensure that the rollout is backed up with resources for local Public Health units and community organizations;
- Ensure robust contact tracing and testing;
- Finally take action with supports needed to address the growing crisis in long-term care;
- Actually listen to education workers and put in the supports needed, like smaller class sizes, to ensure a safe return to school as soon as possible;
- Legislate paid sick time for all workers;
- And develop a comprehensive action plan to address the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on racialized communities.
“There’s no way to accomplish any of this without our elected representatives returning to Queen’s Park immediately,” said Hahn. “We need real leadership. We need Doug Ford to follow the example of Andrea Horwath who has forcefully made this call. That’s what leadership looks like – and that’s what we need from Ford today.”