March 2020
PM Trudeau Announces $1 Billion Fund to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

2020-03-11 11:27:07 AM

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced a one billion dollar fund that will help address the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Canada and prevent its spread. Half of the money announced will go to provinces and territories.

Highlights of the COVID-19 response fund are:

  • $500 million to provinces and territories for critical health care system needs and mitigation efforts, including access to testing, equipment, and enhance surveillance and monitoring

  • $50 million for Public Health Agency of Canada’s COVID-19 communications and public education efforts

  • $100 million to support federal public health measures such as enhanced surveillance and increased testing at the National Microbiology Laboratory

  • $50 million to help vulnerable countries prepare and respond to the virus and support efforts of the World Health Organization and other partners

  • Enhance Canada’s Work-Sharing program to support employers and their employees by doubling the length of time from 38 to 76 weeks for the amount of time employees can work on a reduced schedule under the program 

  • Waiving the one-week waiting period for employment insurance

  • Explore additional measures to support affected Canadians, such as income support for those not eligible for EI sickness benefits

The government notes they are ready to provide further assistance if the number of confirmed cases rises.

Canada’s Public Health Agency says the risk to Canadians is low but warns that the situation could rapidly change. The government is also encouraging all Canadians to stay home if they are not feeling well and that business continuity plans be put in place for employees to work remotely if need be to prevent the potential spread.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Leader of Opposition Andrea Horwath will be meeting today to discuss the province's response to the coronavirus. Ontario also is regularly updating its website for current information on the status of cases in the province. 

Globally there have been almost 122,000 cases with 93 confirmed cases and one death in Canada.

For more information, please see below:

CBC News: Trudeau announces $1B fund to respond to COVID-19

Ontario: The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

World Health Organization: Coronavirus


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