Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and G20 Leaders met virtually on International response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Highlights of the March 26, 2020 address: 

  • Federal Government will be developing a $107 billion package of measures to help Canadians and businesses weather the pandemic 
  • Government is planning to open online applications for the Canada Emergency Response benefit in early April
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expanding manufacturing capacity for critical health equipment
  • G20 Leaders committed to protecting lives, jobs, and the global economy

On Thursday morning, March 26, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with other Group of 20 (G20) leaders in a video conference about the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to “flatten the global curve” through a coordinated global response. 

In his address following the G20 virtual meeting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained that COVID-19 is a global crisis and therefore needs a coordinated global response, takes actions to protect and save lives, safeguard jobs and income, and protect the global economy.

Regarding the $107 billion dollars financial assistance and package of measures, the Government is enacting legislation that would create $52 billion worth of direct financial aid and another $55 billion in tax deferrals. 

These measures are said to help support Canadians and businesses through the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which offers income support of upto $2,000 per month for upto four months to those who lose pay due to COVID-19.  

An online portal will be opened to accept applications for the new CERB in early April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned. 

The Prime Minister also warned Canadians about fake text scams that are popping up and imitating the government regarding the CERB. He reaffirmed that the official government website (Canada.ca) is the best place to go to receive reliable information and updates for the benefit. 

In his address, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau restated the importance of social distancing and the mandatory self-isolation for international travellers returning home. 

While his message “Go Home, Stay Home” has been quite clear the Prime Minister also mentioned that those who do not follow these guidelines may face a penalty and potential time in prison. While details of the penalty and prison time have not been discussed there have been talks of up to $750,000 – $1 million dollars in fines and jail time of up to 3 years.  

As of March 26, 2020, 2:00 p.m, there are 3890 confirmed cases across Canada, including 35 deaths, 197 cases have recovered.  The province of Ontario has reported 170 new cases today, bringing the provincial total to 858.

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