30,000 ventilators to be made in Canada, CERB to expand eligibility to allow for students and contract workers, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government is continuing to work with Canadian manufacturers to produce ventilators and other personal protective equipment in Canada amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

At this time, the Prime Minister said that 30,000 ventilators will be made in Canada and is in talks with companies such as Stanfields and Canada Goose to produce medical supplies such as gloves and gowns. In addition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reassured Canadians that his government is continuing to buy millions of surgical masks. 

The push and need for Canadian-made masks and ventilators became clear after a brief moment of tension following U.S President Donald Trump’s remarks last week, in which he had originally asked 3M, manufacturer of various health care, worker safety, and consumer goods, to not ship respirators and masks to Canada. 

However earlier this week, the U.S President has announced and confirmed that both Canada and Latin America would continue to receive medical supplies in the coming days. 

This past Monday April 6, 2020 the Canada Emergency Response Benefit officially opened and began to accept applications for the financial aid program.  According to officials at the Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion told Global News over 966,000 new applications were received for the CERB on Monday. As of March 15, 2020, there have been more than 3 million applications for financial assistance which includes the CERB, Employment Insurance and other related financial aid.  

Canadians across the country are currently praising the ease of applying for CERB through the government’s online portal. In an interview with CBC, a self-employed applicant from Winnipeg, Manitoba summed up the application process for the CERB as “”Out of 10, really really easy,”. 

Officials recently staggered the process by applicant’s birthday to not overwhelm the online portal. Today, Tuesday April 7, 2020, people with birthdays in April, May and June can apply for the benefits.

In the coming days, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that changes will be coming to expand the eligibility of the CERB to include students, gig workers (such as contractors), and volunteer firefighters who work 10 or few hours per week. 

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