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Doug must be taking advantage of the "exceptions" he's allowed to take, which is why he seems to be missing in action. Then he gets upset with teacher's summer vacation or if someone dares take more than 10 days vacation.

From link.

The (Ontario) House may meet pursuant to the Standing Orders from Monday to Thursday, from February 16, 2021, to December 9, 2021, with the following exceptions:​
March 15 to 18​
April 5 to 8​
May 24 to 27​
June 4 to September 10
September 20​
October 11 to 14​
November 8 to 11​
From link.

Canadian Workers Get Fewer Paid Vacation Days Than Nearly Any Other Country in the Industrialized World

Didn’t get much time off work over the holidays? You’re not alone.

According to a recent study by the Centre For Economic and Policy Research looking into paid vacation and holiday time in countries across the industrialized world, Canada currently ranks near the bottom of the list.

The average Canadian worker only receives 10 paid vacation days each year, tying Canada for second last out of 21 OECD countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

By law, workers in most provinces are only allowed to take up to 10 vacation days off during their first several years of employment with the same employer. However, in Saskatchewan, new workers get three weeks paid vacation.

French workers, by contrast, lead the world with 30 paid vacation days, followed by 28 vacation days enjoyed by British workers.

While Canadian workers also receive nine paid holidays, the 19 days of combined vacation and holidays still places Canada far behind countries like Spain (39 days), Germany (33 days), Sweden (36 days), Norway (35 days) or New Zealand (31 days).

The only country that offers fewer days off to workers is the United States where workers are not entitled by law to paid vacation or holidays.

Japan, which is tied with Canada, has recently launched reforms aimed at reforming the country’s work culture to curb high stress-levels and an epidemic of work-related health problems and suicides.

However, in practice, inequalities within the labour force mean not all workers enjoy the same paid vacation and holidays benefits as the average worker.

“Low-wage, part-time, and small business employees are all far less likely to receive paid vacations or paid holidays,” the study notes.

“When they do receive paid time off, the amount they receive is far less than what is available to their higher-wage, full-time counterparts working for larger employers.”

Greater work-life balance doesn’t just make for happier workers, numerous studies have found numerous social and economic benefits thanks to a healthier and more productive workforce.

In fact, the benefits are so rock-solid, some countries are already going further — Finland, which gives workers 25 paid vacation days, is currently planning to abolish the five-day work week and introduce the three-day weekend.

An experiment by Microsoft in August 2019 found productivity skyrocketed 40% when its Japanese division introduced a four-day work week.
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From my optometrist via e-mail...

Beginning September 1, Optometrists across Ontario will stop providing OHIP insured eye exams for children, seniors, and adults with OHIP covered eye conditions, like diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

For over 30 years, successive Ontario Governments have ignored Optometrists. In 1989, the fee paid for an OHIP insured eye exam was $39.15. Today, over 32 years later, the fee for an exam is an average of $44.65. This fee has not kept up with inflation and does not come close to covering the costs to deliver an exam. These costs include staff salaries, rent, utilities, equipment, taxes, and supplies. In fact, a study conducted by BDO has found that the cost to provide an exam is around $80. Every time we perform an OHIP covered eye exam, we do so at a loss. This is not sustainable.

Ontario Optometrists are the lowest paid in the country. Our fees would have to increase by 60% to match the fees of the next closest province. The following chart shows how we compare with other Provinces.

The Ontario Government has failed to negotiate with Optometrists fairly. They failed to continue negotiations that began in the fall of 2020 by not coming to the table in good faith. There were absent from negotiations for 8 months. They have recently offered us an 8.48% increase to our fees and a $39 million payout to address the insufficient funding we have been given over the last 30+ years. However, this compensation only provides a little more than $1 for each exam performed when split between all 2500 Ontario Optometrists. Moreover, the 8.48% fee increase only raises the fee for a senior eye exam to $51.00. This is still nowhere close to the next closest province.

In order to deliver the highest quality eye exams to our patients, we need the Government to prioritize and properly fund eye care, making it sustainable for years to come.


If you are a senior (over 65 years or age), 19 years of age or younger or an adult with an OHIP covered eye condition (glaucoma, diabetes, retinal eye disease) we will not be able to examine your eyes during our job action. If you have an appointment scheduled during our job action our team will reach out to you and put you on a priority booking list. You will be contacted to have your appointment rescheduled as soon as our job action has ended.

If you are between age 20-64 we can still schedule an appointment for you and our job action will not affect any appointments booked in this age group.


Regardless of age, if you have an eye emergency we will ensure that you are taken care of. Please call us and we will triage your needs as deemed appropriate.


No, unfortunately, provincial law prevents anyone from paying for any OHIP insured services.
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There are really two main governmental issues here:

1. Will we have a vaccine passport organised by the Province using OHIP information and will it be paper, electronic or ?? (A wrinkle will be how will those vaccinated out-of-province or without OHIP cards get one.)
2. Will the passport be required for governmental services/events?

Then there is the issue of whether (and how) private enterprises, stores, bars, events will use this governmental 'passport'. I would suggest these are decisions best made by businesses. Personally, I would only go to a location which made them compulsory, others might not care. (Anti-vaxers might boycott those who demanded them (or not be admitted because they did not have one!)
There are really two main governmental issues here:

1. Will we have a vaccine passport organised by the Province using OHIP information and will it be paper, electronic or ?? (A wrinkle will be how will those vaccinated out-of-province or without OHIP cards get one.)
BC and Quebec both require visitors to have proof of vaccine status and photo ID in lieu of the provincial passport. Spouse is going to Quebec in a couple of days. Will see how it goes.
BC and Quebec both require visitors to have proof of vaccine status and photo ID in lieu of the provincial passport. Spouse is going to Quebec in a couple of days. Will see how it goes.
My partner & I are actually going to Quebec tomorrow - I guess we will see how our Ontario documentation is received!

Pandemic revealed the desperate state of Ontario's health-care system: authors

From link.

When the pandemic began, health-care researchers Margaret Keith and James Brophy feared what was coming in long-term care homes and hospitals across Ontario.
They had spent three years interviewing workers about violence in health care and were shocked at what they had been hearing: regular physical and verbal assaults had become almost routine in a system that was badly understaffed, underfunded and unsupported.
When the pandemic hit, things got worse.

“We were certainly aware that long-term care, in particular, was at the breaking point,” said Brophy. “The lack of support, understaffing and underfunding had all created a climate in which you could just see that disaster could occur. And that is what happened.”

Brophy and Keith, who both have PhDs in occupational and environmental health and are affiliated with the University of Windsor and University of Stirling in Scotland, were just wrapping up years of work on a book about violence in Ontario’s health-care system when the pandemic hit. It provided more disturbing material.
That book, Code White: Sounding the Alarm on Violence Against Healthcare Workers, has just been published. A code white in health care is an emergency response to a violent incident.

In an interview, Brophy and Keith said there is a direct line from the rampant violence reported by health-care workers prior to the pandemic to the devastation that hit long-term care homes in particular during the pandemic.

Ontario was among the worst jurisdictions in the world for deaths and infections among long-term care residents during the pandemic. More than 3,700 long-term care residents have died and more than 15,000 have become infected, so far, during the pandemic. In addition, 13 long-term care staff died and more than 7,200 became infected. In Ottawa, 289 long-term care residents died from the disease.
Not only did the lack of staffing and support worsen conditions in long-term care — something that was highlighted when the military went in to hard-hit homes and found residents uncared for and unfed, in some cases — but violence against health workers increased.

Prior to the pandemic, the authors heard countless stories from health-care workers about being badly hurt, ending up with concussions, missing teeth or broken bones, by patients and their families who often lashed out from frustration about long waits and systemic issues. Because of low staffing, it was more difficult for workers to have support to help prevent injury.

Workers said they were often blamed and silenced when they were injured. Brophy and Keith said they were shocked when they began hearing about the routine violence against health workers, something they hadn’t previously been aware of. That is largely because nurses and others are afraid of speaking out for fear of losing their jobs. Three women who worked on the studies that informed the book lost their jobs — one of them, a nurse, was fired after being quoted in a media release saying there is a problem with violence against nurses in Ontario. It took two years for her to be reinstated through arbitration.
When the pandemic began, all those stresses got worse. “Once again, they were expected to work in untenable conditions and now we had a virus putting them at further risk,” said Brophy.

In addition, Brophy and Keith said the lack of appropriate protection offered to health-care workers was another layer of harm done to them.

Nurses and other health workers fought for the right to wear more protective N95 masks from the beginning of the pandemic, but were told they didn’t need them. Only recently has the Ontario government acknowledged COVID-19 can be airborne, as numerous studies have found.

One nurse, who was told to go into a patient’s room and was denied an N95 mask, later developed severe COVID-19 and was asked to continue working until she became too ill to do so. Her colleague told the authors the nurse is physically recovered, but might never be over the emotional toll of the experience.
The authors quote a hospital nurse hoping there are lessons learned from the pandemic that will make the system safer.

“At the end of the day, the silver lining of this pandemic is that it has brought to light the dismal condition that health care is actually in. Hopefully, after this pandemic is over, we will build on it and fix what is broken and move forward and build on that so the next time — and there will be a next time — we are ready for it and we won’t be in an unsafe situation like this ever again.”

Among their recommendations to reduce violence against health-care workers are: increased staffing levels; increased funding; engineered solutions, such as securing loose furniture, erecting barriers and improving sightlines so workers in trouble can get help quickly. They also recommend strategies to reduce agitation among patients and residents and better communications in hospitals and LTC homes, as well as implement workplace violence reductions strategies, among other things.
The authors said work should begin now to make sure that in any future pandemic, protective equipment is available and the precautionary principle is followed — meaning workers must be protected against airborne transmission as a precaution even if it is not yet proven. That, critics say, could save lives.

“We are hoping that people will read this book and start to demand changes,” said Keith. “We need to defend this precious public health system.”

Code White is published by Between the Lines.

Anti-vaccine protesters staked out Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s house, looked at hiring private eye to ‘dig up dirt’

Aug 31, 2021