The Canadian Federal Government will pump CA$ 19 billion into the country’s provinces and territories as part of Safe Restart Agreement aimed at economic recovery with precautions being exercised to prevent another outbreak of Covid-19.
Many provinces across the nation have accelerated reopening of various sectors of the economy, but Trudeau said that till the time an effective vaccine against the coronavirus was available “the daily threat of COVID-19 will not disappear.”
The “safe restart” programme will focus on preventive measures, including enhanced capacity for testing, contact tracing, and data management and information sharing to mitigate future outbreaks, investments in health care to respond to the pandemic, support for those considered most vulnerable like residents of long-term care facilities, and funding to secure a reliable source of personal protective equipment. Also announced was a temporary countrywide sick leave programme covering 10 days for those who did not have access to it.
“As we continue to deal with the impacts of the virus, we are committed to working with the provinces and territories to provide the support they need to help Canadians make it through this crisis. Together, our priority is to keep Canadians safe and healthy, while building a stronger, more resilient Canada for everyone,” Trudeau said in a statement issued by his office. He made the announcement during a media interaction at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. He was joined by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland who stated that these investments will “help ensure a safe restart” of the “economy over the next six to eight months”, pointing out there was no use pretending that anyone could predict what the scenario will be in that time period. Seven priority areas have been outlined under the agreement.
“When we talk about the recovery phase, it’s not just about making sure we can detect, control and prevent future outbreaks. It’s also about helping people, businesses and entire communities adjust to our new normal,” he told reporters, according to the outlet CBC.
Canada has recorded 8827 deaths so far and over 109,000 confirmed cases.