In one bill, Liberals push sick leave and crack down on health-care worker harassment

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have introduced a two-for-one piece of legislation that would provide sick leave to some workers, and bring the law down on anyone harassing health-care employees.

The bill would provide 10 days of paid sick leave to federally regulated workers, a contingent that makes up a small percentage of the overall Canadian workforce.

Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan says the sick leave plugs a hole in the country's social safety net that the pandemic exposed.

At the same time, the legislation would create two new offences in the Criminal Code for anyone threatening a health-care worker, those who assist them, and anyone trying to access health services.

The punishment would be up to 10 years in prison.

The two issues were at the top of the government's legislative agenda when MPs returned to Parliament Hill this week for the first time since the Sept. 20 election.

The Liberals want to see the measures through the House of Commons before the middle of December when MPs go on a holiday break.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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