“Nobody has to choose between taking time off work because of illness or being able to pay their bills. Just like nobody has to choose between staying at home with the symptoms of Covid-19 or being able to pay rent or food,” Trudeau said at a press conference in Ottawa , Monday.
On Monday, Canada reported more than 85,000 cases of coronavirus and 6,545 related deaths.
For those infected, sick leave is usually a provincial jurisdiction, which complicates national efforts.
Trudeau said putting the necessary mechanisms in place for a national paid sick leave program would be challenging, but the government and the province were determined to try.
“When Autumn arrives and the flu season starts, we don’t want people who sniff suddenly to worry that while they are absolutely not allowed to come to work but they cannot afford to not come to work and therefore the risk of contributing to the waves significantly, could be real problem, “said Trudeau.
Canada’s top doctor repeated his statement on Monday that the second wave of the virus could be worse than the first and encouraged public health officials to build capacity for testing, hospital beds and personal protective equipment to prepare.
“I think you can never be too prepared and we have to keep going with some of this capacity building and that applies to laboratory testing too,” Dr. Theresa Tam, chief Canadian public health officer during a press conference Monday.
Hoping to manage the spread of the virus into the country, Trudeau announced last week that the border with the United States would continue to be closed until at least June 21. Trudeau said the border, which had been closed since March 21, was clearly a point of “vulnerability” for Canada.
The ban on international travelers and quarantine to return Canadians is the only thing that allows Canadians to manage the first wave of coronaviruses, Tam said.