Today NDP Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Critic David Forbes introduced Bill 621, an Act to amend The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 to provide presumptive Workers’ Compensation Board coverage for workers exposed to COVID-19 on the job.
“We’ve seen this pandemic take a heavy toll on working people throughout the province,” Forbes said. “People are struggling, living paycheque to paycheque, and are unsure how they will make ends meet. They deserve to have assurances that they’ll have presumptive coverage if they happen to fall ill. Other provinces are working on this, and we should as well.”
Forbes said the bill is about providing fair, long-term support to workers who contract long-term complications from COVID-19, noting there are similar measures in place for workers who have other work-related illnesses.
“The pandemic has shown the many ways the government has let people down, whether it is the insulting 13 cent raise to the minimum wage, the refusal to impose binding arbitration to end the lockout of workers at the Co-op Refinery or the unwillingness to provide a pay top-up to low-income essential workers,” Forbes said. “This is about doing the right thing for the people of the province.”