Municipal leaders in the Region of Halton call for sick pay for workers and a tightening of definition of what is an essential

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 22, 2021



The following statement was released by the Chair of Regional Council and the fiour municipalities within the Region

Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair stand with the guidance provided by the COVID-19 Science Advisory
Table for Ontario supporting sick pay, encouraging safe outdoor activities and accelerating vaccines for
essential workers, among other measures to fight COVID-19.

Throughout this pandemic, Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair have advocated for a targeted and
evidence-based approach and believe that measures should target the sources of community spread.

On behalf of all our residents and businesses hanging on during these challenging times, we add our
voices to the call from the Science Table to:

• Permit only truly essential indoor workplaces to stay open and strictly enforce safety measures;
• Pay essential workers to stay home when they are sick, exposed or need time to get vaccinated;
• Accelerate vaccination of essential workers and those who live in hot spots; and
• Encourage safe outdoor activities.

The guidance from the Science Table is that being safe outdoors means allowing small groups of people
from different households to meet outside with masking and two-metre distancing. It means keeping
playgrounds open and clearly encouraging safe outdoor activities.

While we continue to discourage large gatherings, small groups can be at the same amenity at the same
time as long as they are following the health guidelines.

In light of this advice, we ask the Province to review and reconsider the list of currently prohibited
outdoor activities. As noted by the Science Table:

“Policies that discourage safe outdoor activity will not control COVID-19 and will disproportionately harm
children and those who do not have access to their own greenspace, especially those living in crowded

Regarding closing non-essential businesses, further financial supports for workers must be in place if the
government is considering closing additional workplaces.

Yesterday’s comments regarding paid sick days by Labour Minister Monte McNaughton, Government
House Leader Minister Paul Calandra, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy and Deputy Premier Christine
Elliot are welcome but they need to be backed up by urgent action and implementation, as well as a
timeline. To avert a fourth wave and break this cycle of lockdowns and restrictions, the government
needs to launch and fund a paid sick leave program in the coming days.

In addition, the Ministry of Labour should have further resources and staff allocated to increase
inspection blitzes and enforce safety measures. These blitzes should not be advertised or announced ahead of time, and they should target the facilities that have had multiple outbreaks ad employers that have not followed public health guidelines.
We need to focus on measures that work, backed by science and evidence, to get through this Third Wave and plan for recovery.

Halton Regional Chair, Gary Carr Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, City of Burlington
Mayor Rob Burton, Town of Oakville Mayor Gordon Krantz, Town of Milton
Mayor Rick Bonnette, Town of Halton Hills

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 comments to Municipal leaders in the Region of Halton call for sick pay for workers and a tightening of definition of what is an essential

  • Tom Baker

    Given the Halton Mayor’s & Chair Statement will the Region b using s. 22 of the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act tomorrow to stop the workplace epidemic spread like Peel and Toronto?

  • g.fraser

    New terminology:

    Deserters: conscious uncoupling from the status quo

    Traitors: exercising their personal rights and freedoms that optimizes their transient beliefs at this given time and date. Comes with a clause that allows their opinion to change at anytime if it suits their needs without consequences.

  • perryb

    Tom, good summary. Unfortunately our MPP recently emerged from hiding to declare (presumably on behalf of the government) that people who think like this are “Chicken Littles”. So that is what we’re working with.

    • Tom Muir

      perryb, where did this remark of hers appear? I want to see it.This remark of hers is unbelievably ignorant. Nothing to work with except blood on her hands – the sky has fallen.

      Shows how she and her gov have been following the advice of all the experts and doctors saying the same things.

      I was commenting on what I saw because I had to go there. I wasn’t imagining it.

  • Tom Muir

    We had to drive to far east Oakville (403 and Dundas) for medical reasons, twice today, and let me tell you the QEW was very busy, often bumper to bumper, both ways, both times (10:30 and 2:00). Most often singles, and so busy it was often not possible to get to the restricted lane, and it was mostly empty.

    So what does this say about people staying home except for essential purposes, and what is an essential business or activity?

    This certainly needs attention as it is too much traffic I think, to get to where we want to go. In fact, in Burlington, the streets are car busy and no where near as clear as what they were like in the first wave. This general situation was noted by Dr. Yaffe on TV.

    I am afraid to see what it will be acceptable to look like when we think we can or want to relax restrictions.

    Secondly, outdoor activities and small gatherings of non family members, as mentioned here sounds nice, but we walk outside in Aldershot and LaSalle Park almost every day, just 2 of us, and we see people gathering at Tables without masks often, and almost never distanced – they don’t look like family. However, yesterday it was much less busy at the Park – people sit in their cars and there were many less walking. But some still group too closely and not always masked. It’s always been this way from the start.

    Walking on the streets we often see groups of younger folks often not masked or distanced. My point is that as many others have noted here, that’s a big part of the problem – people don’t behave. And in openings, if you give them an inch they will take a mile.

    I have no patience any longer for cries and whining borne of impatience, rebellion, and self entitlement.

    When will people clue in that we are in a WAR with the virus, a war we are losing because our leadership has not taken the reality of how it works seriously enough, as the urge to get back to business overpowers them. We have continually fallen behind by foolishly thinking we were ahead – as soon as you think we are ahead of the virus, you are already behind.

    And we are all really soldiers and all prisoners of war. Everyone either fights as true soldiers do in wars, or they are deserters, if they won’t follow the minimal orders they hear daily of public health restrictions that are needed to win. This is going to go on and on for quite a while the way we are going.

    They used to call deserters during wartime, traitors, and in some wars they were shot.