Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Increases Pay For Essential Workers

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Increases Pay For Essential Workers

In great news the Canadian government has announced that it will increase pay for under-paid workers in response to the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown.


The Covid-19 outbreak has had the biggest day to day impact on people’s lives across the world since World War Two, and society has in many ways ground to a halt. However, those workers that are keeping basic essentials going such as food production, supermarkets, basic manufacturing, and importantly the health care sector, elderly care sector and basic amenities, are often among the lowest paid workers in society. These workers are risking their lives by exposing themselves to potential infection while the rest of us are staying in our nice safe houses. This is as true in Canada as it is in any other part of the world.


In response to this, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on the 7th of May that the Canadian government will raise pay for essential workers who are earning minimum wage at a cost of 4 billion Canadian dollars, 3 billion from federal government and 1 billion from the governments of the provinces.


Prime Minister Trudeau stated in the May 7th speech:
“If you’re risking your health to keep this country moving and you’re making minimum wage, you deserve a raise … I think one of the things that we’re seeing through this pandemic is that there are people who are tremendously economically vulnerable, and vulnerable in other ways in our society, who are extremely important to the functioning of our society.”


What this means is that wages will rise for any Canadian essential worker earning under 1800 Canadian dollars a month. While Canada has not been hit as hard as other countries by the pandemic it still has had over 80,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 6,000 deaths – 80% of which have been elderly residents of care homes.


Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare, one of Canada’s largest healthcare unions made clear the situation many of her members are facing:
“The essential service workers that right now help save our lives and care for our loved ones are a lot of the minimum wage earners, the lowest paid in society. They have precarious work and our lives are depending on them right now.”


In some states, the situation in care homes of staff becoming ill and having to be off work has led to the deployment of 1,000 Canadian Armed Forces into essential roles in both Quebec and Ontario.


While the move has been supported by all of Canada’s leading political parties, Trudeau has been criticised for taking too long to act and has been pressured to make sure that this is not a token statement, but something that applies to all key workers going into the future.


Peter Julian, a member of parliament for the New Democratic Party, has also claimed that the hardship faced by many key workers and their sectors is a result of issues that already existed before the pandemic, he said:
“Frontline workers have been through a tremendous amount, you can imagine the pressures that are on them each and every day as they literally put their lives on the line … what this has done has exposed problems that were already widespread in the system, particularly when it comes to seniors’ care. There weren’t adequate resources.”


We certainly hope all key workers remain safe and that they continue to raise the credit and pay that they deserve!

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Thinking Humanity: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Increases Pay For Essential Workers
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Increases Pay For Essential Workers
In great news the Canadian government has announced that it will increase pay for under-paid workers in response to the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown. The Covid-19 outbreak has had the biggest day to day impact on people’s lives across the world since World War Two, and society has in many ways ground to a halt.
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