OTTAWA (Reuters) – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that the Canadian government would provide financial support to people when he asked them to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a press conference at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on March 17, 2020. REUTERS / Blair Gable
“We will provide income support to millions of Canadians,” Trudeau said in an interview with 680 News Radio. Details of the action will be released on Wednesday, he said.
In the meantime, “anyone who can stay at home should stay at home,” he said, “to prevent our medical system from becoming overloaded” during a crisis that could last for months.
The death toll in Canada rose to five on Tuesday after Ontario, the hardest-hit province, reported its first death. There were more than 440 infections in all 10 provinces.
“We are working hard to create the right support package for Canadians while protecting people’s jobs and our economy,” Trudeau told reporters at a press conference outside his home that he is in quarantine since his wife had been positive about that New corona virus was tested last week.
Direct support for people who are not entitled to unemployment benefits and money for companies that keep people on the payroll even when they are at home are among the possible measures, Trudeau said.
Other measures could include better access to credit for businesses, help for those struggling with mortgages, an increase in childcare allowance and more support for low-income families.
“In addition, tax adjustments will be announced by the end of the week to give people” more flexibility … to make payments and to offer companies more liquidity at that time, “said Trudeau.
The liberal government is working to bring the House of Commons back together “so we can take immediate economic measures,” said Trudeau.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, banned gatherings of more than 50 people and ordered the closure of bars and restaurants. Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford provided $ 300 million to strengthen the provincial health system.
Canada’s six largest banks will temporarily limit operating hours and reduce the number of operating branches to support social detachment to curb the outbreak, the Canadian Bankers Association said.
Also on Tuesday, the Bank of Canada said it was considering waiting until its April meeting to cut interest rates, but instead chose a surprising cut on Friday as it concluded that an immediate cut in view of the uncertainty caused by the corona virus could bring “significant benefits” outbreak.
Reporting by Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren, additional reporting by Amran Abocar in Toronto; Edited by Dan Grebler and Grant McCool