Marit Stiles MPP, Davenport

Government of Ontario

Horwath reveals legislative package in the fight to save Ontario

Published on April 19, 2021

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath and the NDP MPPs will push a package of legislative changes Monday that replace Doug Ford’s police state with strong public health measures to help save Ontario from the worst of the third wave Ford walked the province into.

“ICUs are overrun, and people with COVID-19 are laying in hospital hallways in agony. More people will get sick, and many will die if we don’t put powerful public health measures in place right away,” said Horwath.

“Doug Ford chose carding instead of paid sick days. He chose to shut down outdoor activity instead of shutting down non-essential workplaces. We have to undo the damage he’s doing. We have to fight to save Ontario.”

Horwath was joined Monday morning by NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh and NDP House Leader Peggy Sattler. The three laid out a strategy to call on all MPPs of all stripes to give unanimous consent to five motions on Monday at 10:30 a.m. that would:

  • Give Ontarians paid sick days by passing Bill 239
  • Give workers paid time off to get a vaccine
  • Cancel the extraordinary police powers completely
  • Shut down non-essential workplaces
  • Give impacted local businesses and workers a new package of financial supports

“Doug Ford may be bending to the will of lobbyists and big business. I’m not here for them,” said Horwath.

“I’m here for the people laying in hospital hallways, struggling to breathe. I’m here for frontline heroes, who can’t afford to stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms. I’m here for Black, Indigenous and racialized people who know carding will target them, because it always has. I am here for the small businesses that will be destroyed without more help. Together, we can fight to turn this ship around and save Ontario.”

Background

PAID SICK DAYS
The NDP will ask for unanimous consent to pass the Stay Home If You Are Sick Act, tabled by NDP MPP Peggy Sattler (London West). Sattler’s bill guarantees 14 government-paid sick days for during any infectious disease emergency, on top of permanent annual paid sick days for workers.

POLICE POWERS
The NDP will call for the unanimous consent of all MPPs to pass the following motion:
That, in the opinion of this House, the Ford government should immediately repeal the Regulation and withdraw the expanded powers granted to Ontario’s police services.

PAID TIME OFF FOR VACCINATION
The NDP will call for the unanimous consent of all MPPs to pass the following motion:
That, in the opinion of this House, the Ford government should, as part of its COVID-19 response, develop a provincially-mandated paid sick days plan that includes provisions for paid time off for the purposes of vaccination.

FULL SHUTDOWN
The NDP will call for the unanimous consent of all MPPs to pass the following motion:
That, in the opinion of this House, the Ford government should, as part of its COVID-19 response, implement a full shutdown of non-essential businesses with high rates of COVID-19 transmission as reported by municipal and provincial public health data, and extend adequate financial supports to workers and businesses impacted by the interruption.

LOCAL BUSINESS SUPPORTS
The NDP will call for the unanimous consent of all MPPs to pass the following motion:
That, in the opinion of this House, the Ford government should establish targeted COVID-19 relief programs for small and medium enterprises with an emphasis on businesses that do not fit current criteria to access existing provincial and federal initiatives, focus on adequate commercial rent and payroll supports directly accessible by businesses, and incorporate an arts sector strategy that preserves the viability of venues impacted by the pandemic.