September 9th, 2020

NDP: There will be no economic recovery in Ontario without a she-covery

QUEEN’S PARK – MPPs Catherine Fife (Waterloo), the NDP’s critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation, and Jill Andrew (Toronto—St. Paul's), NDP critic for Women's Issues, have issued a statement following the publication of a new Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) report on the need to address the disproportionate economic impact of the COVID-19 on women:

“While the pandemic is having profound effects on all Ontarians, it isn’t affecting us equally. Women have lost the majority of jobs, and many women have been unable to get back into the workforce or get their businesses back on track. The she-cession has affected Black, Indigenous, racialized and disabled women most severely, as they work disproportionately on the frontlines in health care and service jobs and are at the most risk of contact with the virus.

Before the crisis, 60 per cent of Ontarians struggling financially – relying on food banks or payday loans — were women. Now, the OCC report provides further evidence of the she-cession we are facing, with more women unemployed and fewer women than men returning to the workforce, leaving Ontario with the lowest female participation rate in decades. Women entrepreneurs are also more likely to own businesses that are self-financed, or service industries — making their business among the hardest hit by the economic shutdown.

There are many parents, particularly mothers, who would like to get back to full-time work, but are concerned about sending their kids back to school or child care centres without sufficient investments from the Ford government to keep them safe.

The premier must acknowledge that we are in a she-cession and create an action plan to support women’s economic recovery. The Ford government needs to step up and provide real financial supports to workers and small businesses in Ontario, so that folks across the province – especially women – can get back to work. Now is not the time to go backwards.

We need to build an inclusive economic recovery that includes everyone and recognizes the devastating impact of the pandemic on women. That means investing to ensure schools are safe so parents can return to work, direct relief for small businesses, and supporting workers in sectors that will be unable to recover for months to come. There will be no economic recovery in Ontario without a she-covery.”