We’ll pay your rent, shop for you, Canada’s PM tells citizens
Canada’s Prime Minister says his government won’t let Canadians suffer great financial losses because of the current COVID-19 outbreak, and Ottawa will be introducing a “significant fiscal stimulus package” in the days ahead.
“No one should have to worry about paying rent, buying groceries, or additional child care because of COVID-19. We will help Canadians financially,” Justin Trudeau said from the steps of his home in Ottawa, Friday.
“You’re worried about your health, about your family’s health, about your job, your savings, about paying rent, about the kids not being in school. I know that you’re concerned about uncertainty in the global economy. The steps being taken to keep you safe have an economic impact, but what is also true is we are in the enviable position of having significant fiscal fire power available to support you.”
Finance Minister Bill Morneau will have further announcements this afternoon, Trudeau said.
The stimulus package is in addition to the $1-billion response announced earlier this week.
“We recognize there is much more to do,” he added. “We do not want any Canadian to have to worry about whether or not they are going to be able to pay their rent, whether or not they are going to be able to buy groceries or care for their kids.”
Trudeau is governing from home for the next two weeks and is in self-isolation after his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, was diagnosed with COVID-19, Thursday.
The prime minister said he has not been tested for COVID-19 and a doctor has advised him not to be tested if he is not showing any symptoms.
If he does fall ill, Trudeau said he will continue to work from home, adding there have always been contingency plans in place if a minister or prime minister is unable to work.
Trudeau also said his family is doing well in isolation, his kids are keeping busy with Lego and his wife is keeping contact on the phone with friends.
Trudeau also announced new travel restrictions to be put in place. Any cruise ship with more than 500 passengers will not be allowed to dock at any Canadian port. The ban is in effect until July 1.
Also, overseas international flights entering Canada will be restricted to a smaller number of airports amid the pandemic. It’s unclear which airports will be on the list.
Aside from a sweeping travel advisory, the federal government is also taking steps to prevent infections.
Dr. Theresa Tam, the federal chief public health officer, advised Canadians to avoid, postpone or cancel non-essential travel outside of Canada.
Earlier Friday, the House of Commons suspended operations for five weeks, while the federal budget has been delayed.