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Ford’s sick days: 2 Little 2 Late

Left JAB by John Bell

April 29, 2021

Under intense pressure from health care professionals, scientists, labour, faith groups and just about everybody else in the province that isn’t a Tory donor, Doug Ford’s government just tossed us a crumb: 3 days paid (sort of) sick days to deal with COVID or get immunized.

Ford himself wasn’t in the legislature when the – I was going to say half-measure, but even that is too generous – quarter-measure was introduced. He was still incommunicado at home following exposure to a COVID-positive aide, enjoying his 9th paid sick day. 

Why Ford remains hiding in his mom’s basement is a mystery. If he is COVID-positive he owes it to Ontarians to tell them so. But 9 days is more than enough to be tested multiple times. Maybe he is just chilling in the same bunker former Tory boss Andrew Scheer hid him in during the last federal election campaign, crying his eyes out.

The pandemic has been stressful for all of us.

The Ford sick days plan is very thin soup ­­– it barely qualifies as gruel. The Tories offer 3 paid sick days, only for workers suffering from COVID, and government will reimburse the employer up to $200. 

Can I get a WTF!?

No one recovers from COVID in 3 days. Even those who test positive but do not succumb to the virus are required to isolate for 12-14 days. And compensation goes to the bosses, not the suffering workers who would still face losing pay for missing work while ill. 

The purpose of a real sick leave plan should be to bolster public health. This one is designed to cover Ford’s ass. It is an insult to all the expert medical advice Ford has been getting for months. It is a flagrant PR move, allowing them to do the absolute least they could in the face of the pandemic crisis. It is designed to allow beleaguered Tory candidates to stand up in the next election and lie: “But we brought in paid sick days.”

But even this mockery of a plan has yet to be enacted. The Tories are just stalling, hoping to immunize their way out of a crisis and save money. Meanwhile, ICUs remain over-burdened and more people will die unnecessarily.


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