OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister has Justin Trudeau announced that more financial aid will go to Canadians and businesses to weather the COVID-19 pandemic after the Canadian parliament approved the emergency package of $82 billion Canadian dollars (about $56 billion).
“In these extraordinary times our government is taking extraordinary measures”, Trudeau said in a news conference outside his Ottawa residence.
To help every Canadian get through the Covid-19 pandemic, the parliament passed the legislation of the emergency package of 82 billion Canadian dollars earlier on Wednesday.
This multi-billion-dollar relief package accounts for over 3% of the country’s GDP and is aimed to help Canadians pay for rent and groceries, while businesses will be able to pay their employees and bills during these uncertain times.
Trudeau told a daily news conference on Wednesday that the package combines the Emergency Care Benefit (10 billion Canadian dollars) and Emergency Support Benefit (5 billion Canadian dollars) into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and will provide workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with 2,000 Canadian dollars (about $1,400) per month for the upcoming four months.
“If you lost your job because of COVID-19 but are full-time, contract or self-employed, this new benefit will be there for you. If you are sick or quarantined or looking after someone sick or taking care of your kids, it”s there for you. If you are still employed but not receiving income because of this crisis, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit is there for you,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau said an application portal will be launched quickly and Canadians will be able to apply online or through an automated telephone system and should be able to get money within one or two days through electronic transfer, or up to 10 days by mail.
More than 60 Canadian business groups have reportedly urged the Trudeau government to provide direct funding for employees.
The Business Council of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business also said direct support to businesses is the best policy option.
As of 1:30 p.m. Canada’s Eastern Time on Wednesday, there were more than 3,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths in Canada.
|Province, territory or other||Number of confirmed cases||Number of probable cases||Number of deaths|
|Prince Edward Island||5||0||0|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||67||0||0|