Increase Sick Benefits in Canada

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Currently in Canada, our government supports new parents with up to 18 months of parental leave when they have a baby. That’s Employment Insurance that can be taken by the mother or split between both parents. We are fortunate to live in such a progressive society! However, when we get sick, our government will only support us for a maximum of 15 weeks.

It’s something many people don’t realize until they need it. I discovered our system’s shortcomings when my husband of 24 years was recently diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer. He doesn’t have income coverage through work, so we’re now left in a position of trying to maintain work schedules while juggling treatment, extra costs and shrinking incomes.

We wanted to be together until we were having wheelchair races in our nursing home, but now we’re stuck planning for an uncertain future with this added stress.

We aren’t the only ones experiencing this. Our workforce is changing; many people work shorter contracts, moving frequently from job to job, often without benefits.

Our government needs to increase the sick leave provision, specifically on serious illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and other serious diagnoses. These people are fighting for their lives, they shouldn't need to worry about their finances too.