The decision between going into work sick or missing a day without pay is something everyone's faced at least once. This is why Primmer John Horgan is considering developing a sick leave program in B.C. Horgan believes the federal government should step up to the plate and take the lead, but he says he will work to make it happen provincially if they don't.
During a COVID-19 update to the public on Wednesday, May 20, Horgan noted during a question period that he wants the federal government to initiate a national sick pay program that would ensure people don't go to work when they're feeling sick. This initiative has come up many times since the beginning of the pandemic.
COVID-19 can show many different symptoms and doesn't always look the same for every individual.
There was even a case of a Canadian paramedic that showed cold-like symptoms for only a couple days and tested positive for COVID-19.
A question was raised to Horgan asking how long he's willing to wait for Justin Trudeau to implement a national paid sick day program.
He noted that discussions are still on the table and nothing is being ruled out.
“I still believe that this should be a national program with national leadership because it has national consequences,” said the official.
That being said, he did note that he's willing to go it alone. Meaning, B.C. could implement its own program if Canada opts not to.
While alternative plans are in place, Horgan strongly believes that the federal government needs to be a part of this plan.
This sick pay would ensure that workers don’t lose compensation should they stay home with flu-like symptoms.
On Thursday, May 21, Horgan is set to have a meeting with other premiers to discuss this program. He also has a scheduled meeting with Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
Noting that he will stick to his position, he said he will need to wait and “see what comes of tomorrow.”
But it’s not just the B.C. premier sticking up for this initiative.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is also advocating for this sick leave, says The Star.
At this point in time, nothing has been decided on whether there will be a national or provincial sick put in place.
With the province slowly beginning to reopen, non-essential businesses are opening back up.
Because of this, health and safety protocols are in place including physical distancing and the “personal decision” to wear non-medical masks.