Government of Canada COVID-19 AnnouncementsMarch 13, 2020
Over the past few days, several announcements related to COVID-19 have been made:
Measures Related to Limiting Spread:
- International flights will only be permitted to land at a smaller number of airports. Those locations have not yet been announced. Additional screening methods at these locations will be implemented.
- Boats and cruise ships carrying more than 500 people will be banned from docking at Canadian ports until July.
- All travellers arriving in Canada from international points are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution. People arriving from Hubei, China, Iran and Italy already have been asked to self-isolate.
- Asked if the government will close the Canadian border, Trudeau said, “We are in the midst of looking at this. We’re in the midst of evaluating day-to-day what to do.
Income / Fiscal Support:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a $1-billion package to help Canadians cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, with half of the money going to the provinces and territories. Funding will go to provinces and territories to fund critical health care system needs, communications and education efforts, and more.
Trudeau also announced the government is considering income-support measures for Canadians. At this time, the federal government announced it will waive the one-week waiting period for employment insurance to assist workers and businesses affected by the novel coronavirus, and explore other measures to support affected Canadians, including income supports for those who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits.
In addition, they will enhance Canada’s work-sharing program to support employers and their employees who experience a downturn due to COVID-19, doubling the length of time they can use work-sharing from 38 to 76 weeks.
House of Commons Shutting Down / Federal Budget Postponed:
The House of Commons is shutting down for five weeks and the federal budget date is being postponed indefinitely. The motion to shut down Parliament allows for Parliament to be recalled in order to adopt measures related to employment insurance.
Ottawa Announces ‘Significant Fiscal Package’ for COVID-19:
The Bank of Canada (BoC), the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) made a joint announcement about combating COVID-19:
- The Government of Canada is preparing a significant fiscal stimulus program to be released next week.
- The MoF announced the creation of a credit facility program, making $10 billion available through EDC and BDC.
- The BoC is cutting rates to 0.75% to reduce business and household costs.
- OSFI is temporarily (minimum 18 months) changing risk weighted asset requirements for systemically important federal financial institutions.
- OSFI temporarily suspending consultations related to changes in regulation on all new or revised consultations, including consultations on mortgage stress.
CCUA will continue to monitor developments and announcements relating to COVID-19.