"This paper is one step of many that NUPGE will be taking on the topic of COVID-19 and income inequality. We know more work needs to be done on specific needs for different vulnerable populations. The problems facing our northern Indigenous communities are going to be different from the problems facing a new immigrant family who reside in the Greater Toronto Area. We want to make sure everyone's voice is heard and their needs addressed. We hope this paper helps our lawmakers to understand the complexity of how COVID-19 affects different social and economic groups and encourages them to take further action." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"The current pandemic might have been unpredictable. But strong public health systems rooted in a global economic order which prioritises solidarity and the wellbeing of people and the planet over the profits of a few would have made it much more manageable. The unfolding public health, social and economic crisis is a clarion call of history for drastic change. It is now clear that we cannot rely on the market to protect our health." — Baba Aye, PSI Health & Social Services Officer
Federal government programs to help people who are without work due to COVID-19 have changed several times since they were first announced. There may be further changes so it’s important to double check that any information on federal programs.
Our frontline health care workers deserve the same level of respect, peace of mind, and protection that is being provided to health care workers in other parts of this country.
"We need to take care of our health — including our mental health. Music is a beautiful salve for worry and anxiety." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
And what about the long list of workers that have been deemed essential during this pandemic? People who work in our grocery and convenience stores, at gas stations, or who provide food delivery. These are also the heroes we’re hearing about. Would you have seen them that way before the pandemic broke out?
“You can’t provide emergency housing over a video conference. We need to be there to ensure that they get the safe and supportive housing they need.” — Kareen Marshall, OPSEU Community Agencies Sector Chair
"We need a national housing plan for mortgage and rent relief to protect people from the economic fallout of COVID-19." — Larry Brown, NUPGE
The truth is that young people are not behaving differently than Canadians in other age groups.
The urgency of COVID-19 is something the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) takes very seriously because inmates are living in an environment in which our members work.