February 12, 2021

LIGHT IT UP for Paid Sick Days

There is now near-universal support for legislated, adequate paid sick days for all of us. 

Last December, the Ontario NDP tabled Bill 239 - The “Stay at Home when you are Sick” Act. This bill provides seven permanent paid sick days plus an additional 14 paid sick days during public health outbreaks. As the legislative assembly resumes, Bill 239 already passed first reading and is supported by both the Ontario Green Party and the Ontario Liberal Party. 

All party-consent would mean this life-saving bill could be expedited and implemented almost immediately. Unfortunately, so far, Premier Doug Ford and the rest of the Ontario Conservative Party refuse to legislate paid sick days. 

That’s why we need your help.

Car Caravan for Paid Sick Days on Feb. 16


On Tuesday, February 16, the Ontario Legislative Assembly is resuming. Let’s show Premier Ford that the whole province expects him to do his job by legislating paid sick days for all of us.

Our Car Caravan will circle Queen’s Park, and we will make as much noise as we can to make sure they hear us loudly inside -- and out. Please let us know right now if you can help with the car caravan by using this link to register. 

On February 16, we will meet at Hart House at the University of Toronto (9 Hart House Circle) at 9:30 am. We will take the next 30 minutes to decorate our cars. At 10:00 am, we will head off together to bring our urgent message to Queen’s Park, and we will finish our action by 11:00 am.

Here's what you can do:

  • Put a car in the caravan (click here to register)
  • Amplify on social media - feel free to use this message:

#LightitUP for #PaidSickDays because #PaidSickDaysSaveLives 

I expect my MPP to support Bill 239, which provides all workers with 7 permanent paid sick days and an additional 14 paid sick days during public health outbreaks. 

  • Share the Facebook event
  • Call your MPP directly (even if you’ve already called them - you could ask for an online meeting)
  • Talk to your friends, neighbours, and co-workers about why we all need paid sick days


Paid sick days are crucial for the well-being of all families. What better way to mark the holiday than shine a spotlight on the urgency of legislated paid sick days? 

This family day (February 15), the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Fight for $15 and Fairness are joining forces to LIGHT IT UP for paid sick days.

Here's what you can do:

  • Visit the Ontario Federation of Labour resource page here for a Paid Sick Days colouring book and other social media tools (coming this week). 
  • Make a home-made Paid Sick Days Save Lives signs with your kids, or download and print a poster.
  • Put your signs and designs up on doors, windows, or even post them in your neighbourhoods.
  • Snap selfies of your signs with yourself or with your family and post them on social media. Be sure to tag your MPP when you do.
  • Share the Facebook event
  • Light up the phone lines. Call your Member of Provincial Parliament to demand they support the Paid Sick Days Bill 239 as the first item of business when the legislature resumes. Then ask friends and other family members to do the same. You can find your MPP here (scroll to the bottom and enter your postal code).
  • OR call into your favourite talk show to help spread the word.
  • Light it Up for paid sick days between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm: When the sun sets, light a candle, or turn on your porch lights, headlights, flashlights, cell phones, holiday lights, or LED lights and share your signs and designs over social media, to show your support for paid sick days.
  • Feel free to use the following for social media: 

#LightitUP for #PaidSickDays because #PaidSickDaysSaveLives

I expect my MPP to support Bill 239, which provides all workers with 7 permanent paid sick days and an additional 14 paid sick days during public health outbreaks.

Let's keep fighting for paid sick days!

The momentum keeps growing. Three more municipal councils have raised the call for legislated paid sick days: St. Catharines, London and Toronto. This is in addition to calls from Ontario’s Big City Mayors. And just this week, the Ottawa Board of Health voted to demand the Ontario government mandate paid sick leave, saying it is “an important tool for keeping the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases to a minimum.”

Even small businesses are speaking up to say paid sick days are critical for curbing the spread of infectious disease and avoiding future lockdowns. They want the government to legislate paid sick days to level the playing field. Many small businesses are already providing paid sick days. At the same time, big-box corporations like Loblaws, Walmart, and Amazon refuse to do so. 

Let's raise our voices as loudly and as visibly as we possibly can. Every sitting MPP must feel the pressure from constituents that paid sick days are essential now -- and forever. Indeed, had paid sick days been in place before the COVID-19 outbreak, hundreds of people would still be alive today. It’s no exaggeration to say: paid sick days save lives.

Register now for the next decent work organizing meeting

Register now for the next decent work organizing meeting: Tuesday, February 23 at 7:00 pm. This meeting will be crucial to share the momentum and plan the next steps for decent work. Please RSVP right now (click here) and invite a friend. We need all hands on deck to ensure essential workers have essential protections. As we know so tragically well, none of us are safe unless all of us are safe.


The Ontario Federation of Labour is hosting an important town hall to talk about how we can make better use of public resources by redirecting funds from policing to the social programs and services we all need.

Speakers include Robyn Maynard – Canadian Author and Academic; El Jones – Spoken word poet, educator, journalist, and community activist; and Sarah Jama – Community organizer and advocate. To RSVP and learn more, click here.