At a news conference on Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined by federal ministers Chrystia Freeland (finance and deputy prime minister), Patty Hadju (health), Dominic LeBlanc (intergovernmental affairs), Marie-Claude Bibeau (agriculture) and by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer. Drs. Tam and Njoo also release new modelling data concerning the possible impact of COVID-19 in Canada.
The prime minister announces new direct support for businesses affected by the pandemic. The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy will provide support to businesses directly rather than through landlords. The new program would replace the now-expired commercial rent subsidy aimed at landlords. The government is also extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021. Ottawa is also making an additional investment of $100 million through the Emergency Food Security Fund to support food banks and local food organizations. The federal government also announces top-up funding to the territories for their COVID-19 responses.