Federal government working with private companies to buy COVID-19 equipment: Trudeau

Katie Ramirez
March 31, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the travel ban for domestic flights and intercity trains over the weekend as the federal government escalated its efforts to curb the spread of the deadly respiratory illness across Canada. (Image courtesy of Trudeu's press team).

The Prime Minister has announced that large and small businesses are eligible for a 75-per-cent COVID-19 wage subsidy. The number of employee's you have will not determine, whether or not you get this support.

As part of this, hundreds of ventilators are now in production and the government has ordered millions of supplies in anticipation of a surge of patients at Canadian hospitals. "There will be serious consequences for those who do".

To qualify businesses must have a drop in revenue related to COVID-19 of at least 30 per cent.

When asked whether the global travel ban in Canada came a little too late, Trudeau admitted that his government did not get things perfectly right in every department.

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Finance minister Bill Morneau is expected to deliver further details on the cost of this wage subsidy plan on Tuesday, though the Prime Minister noted that money had been set aside.

Business leaders say a substantial wage subsidy offers the best chance for a business to rebound once the pandemic is over, as it allows businesses to keep employees on the payroll rather than push workers onto EI.

"We want to provide relief for these important entities who are still open under hard circumstances, and are helping to help bring Canadians home".

Trudeau warned the government will institute stringent verification measures.

Trudeau took time on the weekend to thank the employees and volunteers who work for these groups. There were 24,000 soldiers and reservists ready to help communities either with COVID-19 issues or with natural disasters like floods or forest fires. There have been 220,000 tests for the virus and of the confirmed cases about seven per cent are requiring hospitalization and about three per cent are in intensive care units. Tam said all will have to be adapted for the "two-metre bubble" of social distancing, and she is asking religious leaders for help to make sure that happens.

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