Federal government announces $1-billion COVID-19 response fund

Federal government announces $1-billion COVID-19 response fund

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government are launching a $1-billion response fund to help Canadians mitigate risks in the fight to contain the novel coronavirus.

Trudeau made the announcement at a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday, saying the federal funding is targeted at the provincial health-care systems as well as workers who are forced to isolate themselves.

“We want all premiers and all Canadians to know our government is here for you, we will make sure you have everything you need,” Trudeau emphasized during the announcement.

The response fund will allocate $200 million for federal medical supplies to help make sure items like surgical masks and face shields are stocked for health authorities. It will also invest $275 million to go toward research, vaccine development, and clinical trials.

Trudeau also outlined the the government is waiving the one-week waiting period to apply for employment insurance.

“We’re pulling out all the stops to make sure Canadians are safe and protected,” said the Prime Minister.

“No one should have to worry about their job if they have to be quarantined. No employer should feel like they have to lay-off a worker because of the virus.”

The largest sum of the response fund ($500 million) will be allocated to the provinces and territories for critical health care system needs and for mitigation efforts, including surveillance and monitoring.

Along with the funds dedicated to specific procedures, Trudeau suggests that the Canadian government will be double the length of time of Canada’s Work-Sharing program from 38 to 76 weeks to support employers and their employees who experience a downturn due to COVID-19.

Canada’s number of confirmed cases have reached beyond the 90 mark as of Wednesday morning with one death, which was at a care facility in BC.



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