February 18th, 2021
February 18th, 2021
QUEEN’S PARK — Andrea Horwath’s Official Opposition will ask all MPPs to pass new COVID-19 support measures on Thursday to give people some of the help they need to get through the pandemic. These are the final three of nine positive proposals the NDP has made during the first week back in the legislature.
On Thursday, the Official Opposition will look for all-party support to pass a motion to give all PSWs a permanent pay raise, a Save Main Street motion to help small businesses with rent and safe operating costs, and a bill to create an independent advocate for seniors.
“We are asking Doug Ford to invest in people and public health,” said Horwath. “We’re looking for all-MPP support Thursday to give seniors, small businesses, and hard-working health care heroes more help to make it through this pandemic."
A raise for all PSWs
Deputy Leader Sara Singh (Brampton Centre) will introduce a motion a to give all PSWs a $4 an hour raise – a start on the better wages many underpaid health care workers deserve.
"Ontario's most vulnerable seniors — our parents, grandparents and dearest loved ones — deserve the highest quality care, and quality of life. Turning PSW jobs into decent-paying, permanent careers is a step in the right direction when it comes to giving people living in long-term care a stable team of professional caregivers, and it’s a completely necessary step in the right direction for PSWs, who have been working tirelessly and run off their feet, both before the pandemic, and during this horrible crisis.
Decades of government underfunding for long-term care has left PSWs understaffed, underpaid, and overwhelmed. We can start to fix this right now; it's time these vital frontline workers earn a fair wage,” said Singh.
Save Main Street
MPP Taras Natyshak (Essex) will call for all-party support to immediately give small businesses more support with measures including a rent subsidy, funding to reopen safely and establish remote operations, and a strategy to support the arts sector.
"Small businesses across Ontario are struggling to stay afloat, and business owners are in dire need of support to help pay their rent, keep workers on the payroll, and ensure they can keep staff and clients safe," Natyshak said. "The Ford government has refused to give small businesses the direct financial support businesses and the NDP have been fighting for — but we can’t afford to lose any more locally-owned businesses in our communities. The government must act now to give small businesses the concrete help they need to make it to the other side of this pandemic."
MPP Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre) will move for immediate passage of her bill to create an independent Senior's Advocate in Ontario, to give older adults and their loved ones a place to turn for help, advocacy and support.
"COVID-19 has exposed a gaping wound in the seniors’ sector. From older adults suffering in long-term care to those at home unable to access the services they count on, older adults clearly need more support to ensure their voices are heard, and their needs are being fought for," Lindo said.
"Our call for a Seniors’ Advocate will help ensure a non-partisan, independent voice to advocate for them, and a safe place for them to turn to. It's past time for Ontario’s older adults to have an office like this in their corner."
The Official Opposition will use unanimous consent motions to call on all MPPs to pass these motions and bill on Thursday at roughly 10:30.
This is the final three of nine positive proposals the NDP have brought to Queen’s Park this week to help people make it through the pandemic.
The other six included a paid sick days plan, staffing up so that all long-term care residents can have four hours of hands-on care per day, guaranteeing people in care homes have access to their essential caregivers, banning evictions, implementing a COVID equity strategy for disproportionately impacted communities, and making schools safe with a class-size cap of 15, a ramped-up in-school testing program and more.
The Doug Ford government has shot down all six of those positive proposals.