As we continue to combat the COVID-19, I would like to again thank our COVID Heroes who are all putting their safety at risk for our protection. Together, we can ease the impact of COVID-19.
Here are today’s new developments:
- Criteria to qualify for the federal CERB will now include those earning less than $1,000 per month – changes aimed at helping contract, gig and seasonal workers, plus those running out of EI.
- A CBC investigation finds that last year, the Ford government scaled back inspections at long-term care (LTC) homes, so only nine of Ontario’s 626 homes got a proper inspection.
- Ontario put out new rules intended to limit staff who work at long-term care (LTC) facilities to work at just one home, but they don’t come into effect for a full week (not until April 22), and contain a dangerous loophole, allowing temp agency LTC workers to continue working at multiple locations.
- Andrea Horwath stressed: “Workers from temp agencies make up a significant part of long-term care staffing, as a result of a staffing crisis. Restrictions much tighter than these should have been put in place weeks ago. We cannot waste a second now, and we cannot allow this government to leave huge loopholes open.
Here are some concerns the NDP is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- The NDP is calling out troubling guidelines put out by the Ontario government’s Ministry of Health for health care workers returning to work after testing positive for COVID-19, which allow staff who have the virus but are asymptomatic to return to work.
- The NDP is calling for the Ford government to eliminate the massive loophole in its rules for LTC workers, and put in place tighter restrictions to protect LTC workers and staff are tighter.
“The government has to fix the problem that years of underfunding and neglect in long-term care has created: pay workers decently, give them full-time hours, and ban them from working at a second facility, no exceptions," said Horwath in a statement.
Here are some things we’re hearing from our community members:
- Concerns about the state of long-term care and seniors homes before COVID-19 — a problem the NDP has been raising for years.
- Ongoing concerns about small businesses that are failing — through no fault of their own — because there is no provincial support in place for expenses like commercial rent.
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