Hon. Doug Ford, Premier
Room 281 Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
January 18, 2022
RE: Immediate support for auto workers and casino employees
I am writing to you today to urge you to provide emergency relief to casino and auto workers across Ontario. Both sectors employ thousands of working women and men across Ontario and yet both have been continually ignored by government policy. Their situations are unique and as such, they need a dedicated support fund that takes into the account their positions. I am asking you to move expeditiously to create a fund that suits their needs and provides financial supports for them during this difficult time.
Thousands of workers across Ontario in both the gaming industry and auto sectors no longer qualify for Federal programs like Employment Insurance and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). While these measures may have helped them in the early phases of the pandemic, many of these workers have now gone several months without income supports. Workers and their families cannot depend on the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit. It is time that their provincial government steps in and provides the supports they need to get through this pandemic. Their workplaces are closed through no fault of their own and during this time, no single worker should go without the wages they need to live with dignity, yet that is what your lack of action is causing to happen.
Ontario casino and auto workers are amongst those who have suffered economically the most during this pandemic. Consistently, when government policies ignore the need for pro-active public health policies and implement strategies that lead to continual lockdowns, it is these workplaces that are among the first to shutter and the last to open. Due to this, these workers often go months without proper supports to feed their families. This is devastating for them, their communities and the tens of thousands of spin-off jobs across the province that rely on their combined economic output. To this day, many have not been able to return to work at all. Premier, hear me when I say that workers in the Province of Ontario are struggling to provide food and shelter for their families. The economic recovery must start with them.
I am calling again on the Province of Ontario to provide emergency relief to these workers immediately and to work together with the Federal government to ensure relief programs are available for the coming months.
I stand alongside the workers in these industries, and I am ready and willing to work with you to make this financial support possible. Financial support for these families is not only necessary to protect two of Ontario’s largest industries but is the right thing to do. These families are counting on you to make the choice and do the right thing.
Lisa Gretzky MPP Windsor West