Path to a stronger, more resilient Canada starts with equity

Op-ed by Dr. Nav Persaud from the The Hill Times

Covid-19 will not take a break this holiday season, so we must remain focused on slowing its spread and on addressing what underlies each wave. Just as global vaccine inequity puts us all at risk by leaving billions unprotected, unfairness here at home continues to threaten health. While we focus on omicron’s rise, now is the time to implement changes that will make Canada more resilient to threats like this pandemic.

We just co-authored a report outlining 13 recommendations toward an equitable pandemic recovery. If paid sick leave will not made available to everyone during this pandemic of a virus that causes a cough, when will we ever get it? Studies show that paid sick leave reduces the spread of infectious diseases.

People with a low income were more likely to be affected by Covid and less able to adhere to public health advice. A universal living income has been studied in many countries including Finland and we know that that financial security can be provided without discouraging people from working.

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