LETTER: Labour Day ‘time to disaster-proof our nation’

Dear Editor:

This Labour Day, as we pause to recognize the historic contributions of working people in Canada, it feels like there is little to celebrate yet much to hope for.

This COVID-19 crisis has been very hard for workers across the country, and Orillia, Muskoka and the communities around them are no different.

We’ve seen workers who have lost loved ones, who were put out of work, and who were deemed essential and had to keep working at great risk to themselves and to their families.

As the dust settles, we will need to start to rebuild. And if we need to rebuild, why not rebuild a fairer and more just society?

We should all be calling on our governments to replace lost jobs with better ones.

Ones that pay better wages, have better benefits like pensions and health benefits, and are environmentally responsible.

We should be demanding that all workers deserve paid sick days, to ensure the health of our people and of our economy.

Canada is a nation built upon very different values than those of our neighbour to the south.

We all must reject American-style cuts, austerity, and remember, we’re all in this together.

It is in our national interest to make sure every member of our communities are healthy physically, mentally, and financially.

It’s time to disaster-proof our nation.

Mike De Rose, President

North Simcoe Muskoka & District Labour Council

All workers deserve paid sick days, to ensure the health of our people and of our economy, writes teacher and labour council president Mike DeRose.