Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the federal government will be putting money towards helping vulnerable Canadians stay fed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his daily address to the country, Trudeau revealed that the government would be allocating $100 million dollars to food banks and other organizations so they can buy and deliver food to those who need it most.
“Like most organizations, food banks are facing new challenges because of this pandemic. With everyone staying home they have fewer volunteers and a difficult economic climate means they are receiving fewer donations than they normally would while demand rises,” Trudeau said during his announcement from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa.
The money will provide some relief to help organizations like Food Banks Canada, Breakfast Club, and the Salvation Army to continue operations said Trudeau.
“The work being done by food banks and their volunteers is essential, so there is no question that they need more support during this crisis,” said the prime minister.
The money from the government will include those living in indigenous and northern communities.
During his address, Trudeau took a moment to acknowledge the work of food banks and all volunteers directly.
“Thank you for feeding our communities. We see you and we are grateful for the incredible, tireless work you do even in these extremely difficult circumstances, especially in these extremely difficult circumstances. You are doing essential work for our most vulnerable. You are showing what it means to be Canadian, to be there in times of difficulty,” Trudeau said.
The Prime Minister also said the government will be supplementing the GST credit to help low-income people. According to Trudeau, every qualifying adult of low-income families would receive up to $300 with $150 for each child. Initially, that money was going to be credited in May, but Trudeau said it will be available in April instead.
In addition to these measures, Trudeau announced that the federal government has signed an agreement with Amazon Canada to help with the distribution of supplies.
“For the past few weeks, our government has been working closely with industry to produce the supplies our health care workers need like masks, face shields, gowns, ventilators, and test kits,” said Trudeau. Amazon Canada will be working with the government and businesses involved in the production of these materials and manage the distribution to province and territories that need them.
Earlier this week, Trudeau had said that 24,000 uniformed men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces were at the ready to assist communities that need help. On Friday, Trudeau unveiled that the province of Quebec had reached out and asked for military assistance.
The help has been granted by the prime minister and will be for the province’s northern communities.
According to Trudeau, Rangers will provide assistance with things like building temporary medical infrastructure and setting up tents. More details of specific tasks are going to be revealed later on Friday.
This is the first province to ask for military support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quebec has reported over 5,000 cases of the novel coronavirus and over 35 deaths.