Premier Ford announces measures to protect workers during COVID-19 outbreak
Legislation would give employees job-protected leave due to isolation or to care for children
While nothing is off the table, Ontario Premier Doug Ford did not declare a state-of-emergency on Monday. Speaking to the media, Ford said as of this point there is no direction to shut down Ontario. The news conference began with Ford announcing new job protection measures for employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19.
NO STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED BUT EVERYTHING IS ON THE TABLE
When it comes to our border with the U.S, Ford is in favour of closing it to travel, but not for business. Ford was also critical about border security. An officer with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at Toronto Pearson airport tested positive for the coronavirus, the agency said on Sunday.
Retroactive to January 25th (when Ontario had the first presumptive case) Ford announced Ontario is acting immediately to protect workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, announced that the Ford government will introduce legislation that, if passed, would immediately provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures.
Employees will not be required to provide a medical note
“Mothers and fathers who need to care for children or dependants shouldn’t have to worry about losing their job,” said McNaughton. “The same goes for people who receive medical or public health advice and are required to take precautions as a result. They shouldn’t have to worry about losing their job. In this time of uncertainty, we need to support employees who must isolate or quarantine themselves, or who need to care for a loved one.”
Ford; there’s more than enough food and household items
Premier Ford also talked about the current state of food and supplies, saying he’s been assured there’s plenty of food and household items and lots of toilet paper.
Bars and restaurants can stay open on St. Patty’s day
With St. Patty’s day Tuesday, why isn’t Ontario closing bars and restaurants like has happened in the U.S? Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health says they are looking at what’s happened elsewhere and seeing if there’s a consensus among federal, provincial and territorial leaders. She did caution again, people should be practicing social distancing.
And Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance was set to deliver the Ontario budget next week but that has been postponed.