Supporting Island Workers by Introducing Paid Sick Leave Legislation this Fall Sitting of the Legislature

Charlottetown, PE - Today, Karla Bernard, Leader of the Third Party, announced that she will be tabling a revised version of the Green’s Paid Sick Days legislation during the upcoming fall sitting of the legislature. The proposed legislation will give all Island workers the right to five paid sick days a year, ensuring that they can take time off when illness strikes without the fear of financial hardship.

In 2022, the Green caucus shared consultation drafts of paid sick leave legislation and gathered feedback from stakeholders and the general public. After that extensive consultation, legislation was tabled but ultimately voted down by the PCs and Liberals. Since then, the Green caucus has continued to work on behalf of Islanders and is pleased to share a revised version of the Paid Sick Leave legislation that takes into account the needs of Island workers, the concerns of businesses, and the continued lack of action from the PC government on this important issue.

“Islanders are known for their strong work ethic. However, there are moments for everyone when illness hits so hard that it becomes impossible to make it to work. Emergency rooms and clinics are frequently operating at maximum capacity, leading to long wait times for treatment. The reality is that it often takes at least a full day to access healthcare on PEI,” said Bernard. “With the proposed legislation, Islanders will have the peace of mind knowing that they can care for their health without sacrificing their livelihood.”

At a time when many Islanders are living paycheque to paycheque, a missed day of work can mean the difference between paying rent or putting food on the table. Prince Edward Island is leading the country in food insecurity, with over one-third of Island children living in homes without a stable source of healthy food. Food banks are witnessing an overwhelming surge in demand, and too many Island children are going to bed hungry. Many Islanders simply cannot afford to take a day off work when they are sick, yet we know how important it is to stay home when ill. This legislation is designed to provide a safety net, making sure that no Islander is forced to choose between their well-being and their economic stability.

“Supporting paid sick leave is not only a matter of workers' rights but a fundamental building block towards a more compassionate and secure society for all Islanders,” said Bernard. “The Green caucus recognizes the financial challenges that working Islanders are facing and are determined to fight for them.”