Some of the most catastrophic outbreaks of COVID-19 in Canada have occurred in long-term care homes. While residents in these homes tend to be older and at greater risk for COVID-19, that’s only part of the reason these facilities are being hit so hard during the pandemic. Another major factor is the way the long-term care sector is staffed in Canada: low-wage workers in precarious jobs with no paid sick leave. 

Today in The Conversation Canada, public health researcher Iffath Unissa Syed and emergency physician Jesse McLaren from the University of Toronto shine a light on the deadly results of denying workers paid sick days. When part-time employees work at several sites with no job security or benefits, the financial consequences for staying home from work when they are ill are severe. The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the urgency of addressing the issue of paid sick leave.

Also today:


Patricia Nicholson

Health + Medicine Editor

A personal support worker with West Neighbourhood House’s Parkdale Assisted Living Program on her way to see a resident at Toronto’s May Robinson apartments seniors’ housing on April 17 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care highlight the urgent need for paid sick leave

Iffath Unissa Syed, University of Toronto; Jesse McLaren, University of Toronto

One of the factors that has made COVID-19 so catastrophic in long-term care homes was lack of paid sick leave for low-wage workers.

American and Cuban flags hang from a wall with an old camera hung in between in Havana, Cuba, on Jan. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

U.S.-Cuba relations: Will Joe Biden pick up where Barack Obama left off?

John Kirk, Dalhousie University

Joe Biden could return to the path blazed by Barack Obama on Cuba, when two years of bilateral negotiations helped undo more than five decades of hostility.

National youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman recites her inaugural poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Poet Amanda Gorman’s take on love as legacy points to youth’s power to shape future generations

Heather Lawford, Bishop's University; Heather L. Ramey, Brock University; Jessica Riddell, Bishop's University

The first national youth poet laureate in the United States taps into the power of generativity, a concept that refers to creating a legacy that lasts beyond our lifetimes to shape future generations.

Residents of the remote town of Norris Point launched their own meals-on-wheels program to help the community cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Roza Tchoukaleyska

Local meals-on-wheels program helps rural seniors cope with COVID-19 isolation

Roza Tchoukaleyska, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Dawn Pittman, Memorial University of Newfoundland

As the scale of the pandemic revealed itself in March, one small town in Newfoundland created a community-led meals-on-wheels to support its seniors.

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline demonstrate in Omaha, Neb., on Nov. 1, 2017. (AP/Nati Harnik)

Keystone XL legal risks highlight dangers of putting investors before climate change

Kyla Tienhaara, Queen's University, Ontario

The threat of a large lawsuit could be enough to discourage some countries from taking action on climate change.

La Conversation Canada

Le premier ministre Justin Trudeau rencontre son homologue indien, Narendra Modi, à Hyderabad House, à New Delhi, le 23 février 2018. Un discours de Justin Trudeau appuyant le droit de manifester a été très mal accueilli en Inde. "La Presse Canadienne/Sean Kilpatrick

La crise agricole en Inde provoque un imbroglio politique avec le Canada

Mathieu Boisvert, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Un discours de Justin Trudeau appuyant le droit de manifester a été très mal accueilli en Inde. D’anciens ambassadeurs estiment qu’il s’agit d’une ingérence dans les affaires internes du pays.

Les émissions mondiales de combustibles fossiles ont diminué d'environ 7 % en 2020 par rapport à 2019. Mais un rebond est probable lorsque les mesures d'austérité se relâcheront, à moins que les plans de relance post-Covid-19 ne se concentrent sur la relance verte. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Sans des mesures plus écologiques, une hausse du réchauffement planétaire limitée à 1,5 °C sera hors d’atteinte

H. Damon Matthews, Concordia University; Kasia Tokarska, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Plusieurs pays ont pris l’engagement de réduire leurs émissions de gaz à effet de serre à zéro d’ici le milieu du siècle. Mais de nouvelles recherches montrent que ce n’est pas suffisant.

Oceans 21


Marine viruses: the tiny microbes that orchestrate life in the ocean

Dolors Vaqué, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (ICM-CSIC)

There are more viruses in the ocean than stars in the Milky Way – and they're fundamental to Earth's biodiversity.

Culture + Society


Science + Technology