QUEEN’S PARK – Doug Ford’s move to scrap vital labour rights in Bill 148 is hurting caregivers and parents of children with disabilities, says Windsor West MPP and Official Opposition critic for Community and Social Services Lisa Gretzky.
Doug Ford is now cancelling the two paid personal emergency leave days that employees currently have the right to access in case they’re sick, their child is sick or a family emergency comes up. Those days are critically important to parents of children with developmental disabilities.
“Parents of children with developmental disabilities face unbelievable hardships every day. They wait years for their children to get Passport funding once they turn 18. They face decades-long waitlists for supportive housing. Their planned increase to Ontario Disability Support Program benefits was recently cut in half by this Conservative government,” said Gretzky during question period on Thursday.
“Now parents will have to forfeit their income if they have to take an emergency day off work to care for their child.”
Gretzky shared the circumstance of one Windsor-area mom.
“Mary Beth is a prominent autism advocate from my community. She is a single mother raising a son with a developmental disability, and she is incredibly frustrated by this Conservative government’s decision to scrap vital labour reforms – particularly the cut to emergency leave days,” said Gretzky.
“In her own words, Mary Beth writes, ‘Every day I see parents try to hold down jobs and take care of their loved ones with disabilities. Every day I see elderly parents suffer working themselves into early graves. Two sick days wasn’t much but it was better than nothing’.”
Gretzky called on the government to reverse their callous decision, asking:
“How does the minister justify this outrageous disregard for working parents and caregivers?”