Advocacy group urging province return to the legislature

 

Despite the fact Ontario is seeing record numbers of new cases of COVID-19 nearly every day, the government has yet to return to the legislature.

In mid-December, the province's legislative session ended, and a recess began, which immediately made things more difficult when it came to combatting the virus--namely, distributing vaccines.

However, while the people of Ontario were forced to spend the holidays by themselves due to the surging number of cases of the virus, the Province was essentially on vacation (literally in the case of former Minister of Finance, Rod Phillips).

Now, with the number of daily deaths approaching three digits, the new session still has yet to begin, and Ontario is in the midst of a second, province-wide lockdown.

With cases rapidly rising, and entrepreneurs losing their businesses, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is urging the Province to immediately return to Queen's Park, and begin working on urgent issues, including implementing paid sick days, addressing the long-term care crisis, establishing a plan for safer classrooms, and developing a comprehensive vaccine rollout program.

"Ontarians are getting sick and dying at record rates, there is a humanitarian crisis in long-term care, and vaccine rollout is happening far too slowly," Patty Coates, president of the OFL, said in a news release.

"It is callous for Doug Ford's government to wait until February 16th to return to Queen's Park to address this crisis," she continued.

Additionally, when the legislature was adjourned, Premier Doug Ford still had yet to allocate $12 billion in pandemic relief funding for the province.

"Without immediate action from the provincial government to legislate paid sick days, address understaffing in long-term care, and implement a comprehensive vaccination plan people in Ontario will continue to suffer," Coates said, "we're calling on Ford to get back to Queen's Park and provide Ontarians with the urgent help they need."

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