Lessons from 2020: The pandemic brought out the best in Canada’s workers

December 31, 2020

“Canada’s unions are marking the end of 2020 by looking back on all that has been accomplished to protect workers and their families through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world has been forever changed, but people across Canada have come together to focus on our collective good.

Though the pandemic is not over and there is continued uncertainty, I have no doubt the people of Canada will continue to come together to do what is best for our families, our communities and the future of the country.

Over the course of the last few months, workers and their families have spoken out. Hundreds of thousands of people took action – writing to their MPs, holding meetings, sharing stories – and as a result the federal government created several important programs.

Throughout this pandemic, we have been reminded of the power of activism. When people come together to raise their voices, great things can happen – like emergency benefits, paid sick leave, and real discussions about the future of child care and long-term care.

This holiday season, Canada’s unions call on people across this country to recognize the thousands of frontline workers who have kept our communities running throughout the pandemic. Many of these people who will be working through the holidays. Honour them by continuing to heed public health guidelines.

This has been one of the most challenging years any of us has ever faced. As we mark the end of 2020 and all the challenges it posed, we can look toward 2021 with hope and optimism.

There are still challenges ahead. We need to remain vigilant to ensure that Canada continues to invest in people. But this pandemic has reminded us what it means to work together.

Personally, and on behalf of Canada’s unions, I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.”

Hassan Yussuff
President, Canadian Labour Congress

Related Articles

Canada’s unions welcome extension of EI and recovery benefits

Canada’s unions welcome the extension to income supports announced by the federal government today as a necessary step towards providing further financial security to those who need it. The government announced 12-week extensions for both the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), as well as an additional 24 weeks of eligibility for Employment Insurance. “This will…
Read More

Too many people are struggling to pay for their medications

By Hassan Yussuff, Doug Roth, Linda Silas, as published in Toronto Star   A silent health crisis is looming as more people struggle to pay for their prescription drugs. Even before the pandemic, the statistics were staggering. About 7.5 million citizens—one in five Canadians—either did not have prescription drug insurance or had inadequate insurance to cover their medication needs. One…
Read More

Latest job numbers point to need for urgent extension of EI benefits and job retraining

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions are urgently calling on the federal government to extend EI and recovery benefits along with increasing support for skills retraining as workers continue to struggle with rising unemployment. Following higher than expected job losses at the end of 2020, workers faced another large drop in employment, with 213,000 jobs lost last month. “We’ve lost the small…
Read More