Trudeau announces $1 billion in funding for Canada’s ongoing response to COVID-19

OTTAWA - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced $1-billion in funding to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and mitigate the risks posed to Citizens.

According to the Canadian PM, the funding package will include money to help make sure items like surgical masks and face shields are well stocked for health authorities, and also help provinces, workers, and businesses harmed by the outbreak.

"Canada is well-positioned to deal with the spread of the new coronavirus, and that we will get through what comes next.#,” Trudeau said, noting the country has been fortunate so far, despite recording one death in B.C. related to the virus on Sunday, but added Canada needs to be prepared for all scenarios.

Trudeau says the government and officials are prepared for every scenario in terms of the amount of Canadians impacted. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Tam says all Canadians can change the curve of this virus through their preventative actions #cdnpoli
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) March 11, 2020

The money will also help Canadian workers who are forced to isolate themselves due to the virus.

As part of the federal funding package, the Liberal government announced it would loosen restrictions on employment insurance, waiving the waiting period for benefits for people who are off work due to illness.

When asked how the federal government would make sure no one takes advantage of the changes, Trudeau said he has confidence in Canadians.

He also pointed out the change to employment insurance is a key measure to protect workers and reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.

On employment insurance changes, Trudeau is asked how they make sure no one takes advantage of a no waiting period EI offer. The Prime Minister says he has confidence in Canadians, and points out this is a key measure to protect workers and reduce risks #cdnpoli
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) March 11, 2020

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 100,000 people globally, and forced mass quarantines as well as restrictions on public gatherings in some parts of the world.

Canada has yet to implement such drastic measures to try and slow the spread of the virus, which has infected close to 40 people across the country since the outbreak started.

Asked whether Canada would consider closing its borders like China and Italy have done, Trudeau said nothing would be ruled out, but added decisions would be made based on advice from experts.

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