Justin Trudeau announces coordinated national effort to restart the economy in Canada
As provinces and territories continue with plans for returning to a new form of normal now that we're past the peak of the pandemic, the federal government has announced $14 billion more in targeted funds to help with a national reopening of the economy.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is working with all premiers on a type of coordinated effort, which he called a "safe restart agreement." It will focus on specific aspects of restarting the economy nationwide.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is offering $14 billion to the provincial and territorial governments to help them safely reopen economies without triggering an explosive second wave of #COVID19 cases. #cndpoli— Sergio Mourato (@OMNITVSergio) June 5, 2020
The money will go toward things like personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and all other employees that will be getting back to work in the coming months; support for seniors and other vulnerable populations; a new standard of 10 days of paid sick leave; childcare for parents who are returning to their jobs; and support for municipalities for things like public transit and city programming.
This plan will cover the next six-to-eight months, which Trudeau called "critical" for ensuring the virus stays under control as lockdown restrictions are loosened.
"To really move forward, we need a Canada-wide plan on safely and effectively restarting the economy. Having the right approach and the right resources to back it up will determine where we are not just in the coming weeks, but into the fall and winter," the PM said at his daily press briefing on Friday.
"Canadians have sacrificed too much over the past couple of months to lose the progress we've made. As we restart, we must do so safely with all the right precautions in place."
Though the government is aiming for some type of national baseline standard that needs to be met for a safe reopening, such as PPE , Trudeau acknowledged that each province and territory is facing a different reality as far as the health crisis is concerned, so "flexibility will be important."
As we safely restart our economy, each province and territory has its own approach. But we’re all working closely together to support Canadians. That’s what @cafreeland and I spoke about on our 12th call with Premiers this evening.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 5, 2020
Provinces and cities alike have been calling for more national support in recent months, and Trudeau announced earlier this week that he would be expediting $2.2 billion in federal gas tax funding to municipalities in one bulk payment (rather than two installments later in the year) to provide some immediate relief.
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