Lindsay Clarke, a registered nurse in Toronto, expected the Ontario government’s response to the province’s third wave of COVID-19 would include mandatory paid sick days. When Premier Doug Ford stepped in front of the cameras on April 16, they weren’t even on the agenda.
Despite a year of advocates, experts, and even the province’s Science Table calling for paid sick days, Ford instead essentially gave Ontario police forces free reign to card anyone outside of their home. He did not announce widespread closures of high-risk sectors like manufacturing and warehousing that could have slowed the spread of COVID-19, and workers in these industries often cannot afford to stay home if they’re sick. Clarke believed she needed to act. “The fund started because we saw there was this emergent need to help essential workers stay home to help curb this third wave,” she say
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