Workers welcome wins in budget bill

May 2, 2022

Bruske: Canada’s unions welcome progress on key issues, but there’s more work to do on implementing 10 days of paid sick leave

OTTAWA –– Canada’s unions welcomed progress in today’s Budget Implementation Act on a number of vital issues the labour movement has long pushed for but were disappointed with new delays and restrictions implementing the new paid sick leave policy for all federally regulated workers.

“We are happy the government listened and took action on critical issues Canada’s labour movement has long fought for. A labour mobility tax deduction to support tradespeople, allowing unions to independently file trade remedy complaints, and amending the Competition Act to outlaw wage collusion by employers are welcome steps that will benefit workers,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “We are also pleased the government is implementing a Luxury Items Tax, another step towards making sure everyone pays their fair share.”

Bruske said that the government’s budget bill, C-19, also included important progress on training and Employment Insurance, and encouraged MPs to work together to pass the bill.

“While there is more work to do on permanently reforming EI, today’s progress on establishing a new EI Board of Appeal is something we have long fought for,” said Bruske. “And the government’s commitment to work with unions to create better employment supports and training opportunities is good news for Canada’s workers.”

Bruske added that Canada’s unions were concerned about workers being excluded from the implementation of the new paid sick leave rules, which will now only initially apply to federally regulated companies with over 100 employees.

“There are thousands of workers in small- and medium-sized businesses who are being told they have to wait longer for this critical policy, including people in the trucking industry and other frontline workers who would particularly benefit,” concluded Bruske. “We will keep up the pressure on the government and MPs to work with us to fix this and make sure these workers get the 10 days of paid sick leave they were promised, as soon as possible.”

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