On March 11, 2019, COVID-19 was officially declared a global pandemic. 24 months have passed, and we are not yet able to take full stock of its impact. That endeavour will take many more years. To date, more than 37,000 Canadians have passed away from the virus, including some of our members, relatives, grandparents, and friends. To all the families who have lost a loved one, we offer our condolences and our support.
This National Day of Observance is also an opportunity to underscore the significant impact of COVID-19 on each of our lives. For frontline, transportation and retail workers, it has been 24 months of hard work and countless sacrifices to get us all back to some semblance of normalcy. We are deeply grateful.
Moving forward, we must pursue our fight to ensure such a silent enemy never wreaks havoc again, especially on seniors. This is why we are proposing to establish national standards of care in the seniors’ housing sector. The implementation of provincial decrees to harmonize working conditions for all workers would in turn address the labour shortage in the sector. More broadly, we need to ensure that everyone has access to sufficient paid sick leave, which is conducive to a healthy and safe environment.
Finally, and most importantly, solidarity is needed now more than ever.
President of Teamsters Canada
Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters