#Canada; #AMultibillionDollarDeal; #LowWageEssentialWorkers;
Ottawa, May 7 (Canadian-Media): Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced May 7 in Ottawa of a $4 billion deal his government has reached with the provinces and territories to increase payments for low-wage essential workers, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official site
According to the agreement, $3 billion would be kicked in by the federal government while the provinces will contribute the rest.
Trudeau said that plans, to cost-share wage top-ups by provinces and territories, have either been confirmed or are in the process of being confirmed and added that each province or territory will decide which workers are eligible for support.
Some provinces already have moved ahead. According to the Saskatchewan government's recent announcement employees making less than $2,500 a month while working with vulnerable people are eligible for a wage top-up of $400 per month for 16 weeks. That includes people working at long-term care homes, daycares and shelters.
A $4-per-hour increase had been announced by Ontario for front-line workers at long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, group homes, correctional institutions and youth justice facilities, including those providing home and community care and some hospital staff.
Even before Trudeau's initial offer, Quebec had announced to increase essential workers' pay by $4-per-hour, private long-term care homes, and $24.28-per-hour salary to attract new workers to fill in as attendants at the facilities.
Residents in Canada's long-term care facilities have accounted for a disproportionate number of Canada's pandemic deaths and has brought into spotlight health and personal care workers' typically lower salaries.
Both Ontario and Quebec, leading in coronavirus cases and struggling to keep a full staff, have requested help from the military.