Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that that the federal government remains in discussion with provinces regarding 10 paid sick leave days.
“Our country needs workers to get our country back on track,” said the prime minister. “No one should have to choose between taking a day off work if they’re sick or being able to afford their rent.”
He said that he has spoken with NDP’s Jagmeet Singh about sick leave, and continues discussions with the provinces to ensure anyone who needs it can receive 10 days of paid sick leave.
“No one should have to make the impossible choice between going to work sick and not being able to pay their bills,” said Singh on Twitter. “If we want people to get tested and stay home when sick, we need paid sick leave. It will save lives.”
Trudeau also said they are looking at other longer-term mechanisms for workers who need sick leave.
“It could be significant help,” he said.
The prime minister said that in the fall, people with sniffles shouldn’t have to worry that staying at home would impact their employment. He said that he doesn’t want people to be forced to go to work if they feel like they have symptoms of COVID-19.
He also said that a “number of premiers” are on board at this time.
Trudeau also urged landlords to apply to the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance Program, which opened on Monday.
The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance “offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants, and meet operating expenses on commercial properties.”
Trudeau said that the reality of reopening businesses will be different for everyone, and every owner.
Over the course of the program, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75% for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June, for their small business tenants. CECRA will cover 50% of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25% and the property owner forgiving at least 25%.
Property owners can submit their applications according to the following timetable:
– Monday, May 25: Property owners who are located in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program.
– Tuesday, May 26: Property owners who are located in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and the Territories, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program.
– Wednesday, May 27: All other property owners in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and the Territories.
– Thursday, May 28: All other property owners in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec.
– Friday, May 29: All property owners across Canada.
Besides the rent assistance, Trudeau said the Canada Emergency Business Account can help businesses pay for their rent on time, and the wage subsidy would also help rehire employees.