Mr. Speaker, today the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. This pandemic does not affect everyone equally. The most vulnerable people will ultimately be hit the hardest.
People without sick leave cannot afford to stay home from work. They lose their pay and maybe their jobs. A disproportionately high number of these people are women and come from marginalized groups. Many of them work in the service industry and the food service, as caregivers and front-line workers. It is in everyone's best interest that they stay home if they are sick, but they are also among the half of all Canadians who are $200 away from insolvency. A day's less pay could mean missing that month's rent or the ability to put food on the table.
Other countries are finding ways to help and take care of their people, but 45 days into this outbreak, the Liberals are still “exploring additional measures”. The Liberals need to spend less time talking about helping people and actually start helping people.