Front line healthcare workers will be getting a raise to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.  Premier Doug Ford announced Saturday that frontline workers including staff working in long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions, and youth justice facilities, as well as those providing home and community care and some staff in hospitals, will receive a $4.00 an hour wage increase for the next 16 weeks.

As well anyone working more than 100 hours a week will receive a $250 bonus per month for the next four months.  Ford said it will also allow homes and social services to attract the staff they need to continue to fight the spread of COVID-19.

“During these dark days, the Ontario spirit continues to shine through with everyday acts of heroism, courage, and compassion by our frontline workers,” said Premier Ford. “These people put themselves in harm’s way to care for our sick and vulnerable citizens. I am truly grateful, as are the people of Ontario, for their service, and it’s time we give something back to those who sacrifice so much day in and day out.”

While Ford thanked the federal government for their support for the wage subsidy for front-line workers, he did make it clear that the province needs a sustained commitment on support for long-term and general health care from the federal government.

Ford addressed a group of about 100 people protesting the lockdown of Ontario today by calling them selfish.  Ford called it “selfish and reckless” for protesting the lockdown in a group outside of Queen’s Park and risking the progress Ontario has made in fighting the spread of COVID-19.  Ford was visibly shaken by the protesters and said, “they are breaking the law.”