Danny Cavanagh: Let’s be clear that September 30 is more than a question of becoming a paid holiday. It’s a day to commemorate Truth and Reconciliation. Making it paid will give it much more weight and meaning. What we see in Nova Scotia is a half measure…

This Labour Day Danny Cavanagh reflects on the past year, the upcoming federal election and the challenges to come. Life has to more affordable for everyday people. We hearing about the economy doing well for the rich, but they’re not seeing the benefits for their families.

Danny Cavanagh: “Oh, how we forget. Mr. Erin O’Toole is no friend of workers or families. Now that there is an election, he is pretending he cares about workers’ pensions and other issues to get our votes. As Dr. Phil would say, the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.”

Danny Cavanagh: Imagine that you’re paying rent and you have been told you need to move out because the place will be renovated. You go to the bank to see about buying a home. The bank says no to a mortgage even though the rent payment is higher than a mortgage payment. This is happening far too often.

Danny Cavanagh: Blaming the workers and the minimal government benefits they receive is unfair. It is also unfair to portray workers as lazy and unproductive. It is fair to say that today’s workforce wants better than low-wage part-time jobs without benefits. They will no longer tolerate being called part-time while working full-time hours. They want paid sick leave and other workplace benefits.

Danny Cavanagh: The Nova Scotia Government’s announcement of four days of paid sick leave is a great win for all of us who have been advocating for it. But we know that four days is not enough, and we know that employers should be paying for it, not the taxpayers and above all, it must be permanent, not temporary.

Danny Cavanagh: Taxpayers should not be bailing out profitable corporations, but that is what we see proposed in Ontario with its 3-day sick leave plan which is inadequate for workers and unfair to taxpayers. Employers should pay for sick leave, and if they really need help, they must be required to prove they need that help.