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Furstenau: Paid sick leave inadequate to protect workers sick with COVID-19

May 11, 2021

VICTORIA, B.C. - Today, the province introduced legislation for paid sick leave. Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Cowichan Valley has issued the following statement:

“More than a year into this pandemic, workers deserve a better plan from this government. Three days off is better than none, but it is far from adequate to provide people with the time to recover from COVID-19. This program falls short of fixing the gaps in the federal program, meaning many workers will continue to fall through the cracks. Half-measures will not solve the problem of workers having to choose between staying home when they’re sick and facing possible financial devastation.

“I’m also very concerned that cabinet is giving itself a blank cheque to determine the number of days for permanent leave. It is essential to work with labour, business, and stakeholders to create an equitable and effective permanent solution, and that the solution be set in legislation. The permanent policy should be decided in the Legislature to ensure proper oversight and that the number of sick days is enshrined in law. 

“The permanent policy should also take into account that not all businesses are the same. While many small businesses and specific industries have been hurt by COVID-19, others have profited immensely. After the pandemic, small and independent businesses with tight margins and large employers that routinely turn significant profits should not be treated the same. A permanent policy should account for these differences.

“We will continue to press the government to expand these protections to keep workers, their workplaces and their communities safe.”

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Media contact

JoJo Beattie 
Press Secretary
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | [email protected]

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