Charlottetown - Islanders are facing a lot of uncertainty and anxiety with the rising number of COVID cases in the province. Now is the time for government to step up and provide immediate supports to all Islanders during this difficult time.
“This is not a time to be close-fisted in helping Islanders,” said Trish Altass, Official Opposition Critic for Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture. “It’s time for this government to initiate supports for Islanders instead of hoping the federal government will do the heavy lifting.”
The Official Opposition is calling on government to implement the following measures immediately and without delay:
- Enhance income support programs, including supports for workers whose hours of work have been reduced due to restrictions and for those who need to take time off work to care for children while schools are closed;
- Enhance supports for small businesses and work with industry to ensure no businesses are falling through the cracks;
- Introduce targeted support for Islanders, particularly for those who are struggling with food insecurity and for students;
- Make COVID rapid tests more accessible for every Islander, and not only at points of entry.
“While providing these immediate supports, government must also be forward looking to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of workers no matter what the future holds,” said Altass. “Legislating paid sick days and creating a guaranteed basic income must be part of that planning if we are to have a more robust safety net for workers and businesses when these emergencies happen.”
With the passing of Opposition-sponsored poverty elimination legislation and the passing of a committee report to create a basic income guarantee, it is critical for government to finally take action on these important issues.