COVID-19 Update for April 4, 2020 – 12:00pm

The focus of the Prime Minister’s daily morning briefing was government support for vulnerable populations, although the majority of questions from reporters focused on the ongoing efforts of the United States President Donald Trump to prevent 3M from sending N95 masks to Canada.

3M Dispute Continues

President Trump doubled down on his rhetoric against 3M yesterday evening at his daily press conference, saying his government “is not happy with 3M” and is “unmoved” by Canada’s efforts. Meanwhile, Canada continues to increase pressure on the U.S., with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland yesterday saying the government is planning to ‘pull out all the stops’ to get the American administration to reverse its decision. Freeland said all ministers are in touch with their U.S. counterparts and the premiers have also been asked to get involved.

When asked about the issue today by reporters, the Prime Minister said he has been speaking regularly with President Trump and plans to speak to him again in the coming days. Trudeau maintained the same messaging, noting that “the U.S. will be hurting itself” if this happens. Trudeau confirmed that Canada is not looking at retaliatory measures and reiterated that discussions have been extremely constructive so far.

Support for Vulnerable Canadians

Trudeau provided more details on the $207.5 million investment to support vulnerable populations across the country.

This funding will be provided in the following ways:

  • Homelessness: $157.5 million to address the needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness through the Reaching Home program. These funds will go to the purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.
  • Gender-based violence: $40 million to be given to Women and Gender Equality Canada, with a large portion to be distributed to 575 violence against women shelters across Canada.
  • $10 million to be provided to Indigenous Services Canada’s (ISC) existing network of 46 emergency shelters on reserve and in Yukon to support Indigenous women and children fleeing violence.

Personal Protective Equipment

The PM announced that Canada has leased a warehouse in China to help collect and distribute PPE to Canada as quickly as possible. The government has been chartering flights through Cargo Jet and Air Canada.

If you have any questions about this update please let us know.

The Enterprise Team

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