Jennifer K. French
Third Deputy Chair of the Committee of the Whole House

I’m glad to ask a question of my colleague from Timiskaming–Cochrane. I appreciate the way he laid out the difference between the budget motion and the budget bill. I think of it as when you go to a restaurant and you see the pretty picture on the menu, and what comes on the plate might leave something to be desired.

But I did want to echo what he said about no paid sick days. Those with no benefits, vulnerable workers—people need what they need to stay well, to protect their families, to be able to sleep at night without anxiety. What we didn’t see in the budget bill: We don’t see money for not-for-profits who do a lot of caring work and heavy lifting, for anti-poverty initiatives. It’s really missing the money for folks and families and people who are reliant on ODSP and OW.
The member mentioned that there is no expanded eligibility for those small business grants for the small businesses. I’ve got at least four from the last weeks that still don’t have the money from the first one. They’ve applied, they’ve been promised, and they’re waiting and they’re waiting. Come on, guys.
I guess my question to the member is, what kind of difference would those initiatives, were they in the budget bill, make to our communities?