COVID-19 Update for April 6, 2020 – 12:30pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s daily briefing focused primarily on the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The online portal went live this morning, for applicants whose birthdays are in January, February and March. Those born later in the year will be able to apply on subsequent days this week.


Trudeau confirmed that the first installment of emergency funds – up to $2,000 per month for those who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic – will be deposited into the accounts of eligible Canadians within three to five days of applying. He said the government approved over 240,000 applications in the first few hours the portal was open. Potential applicants are urged to visit the CERB website, where they can find the timeslot, based on birth month, for when they can apply.

Additional Support on the Way

The Prime Minister also noted that further CERB support is coming for those still employed but with drastically reduced hours or other precarious situations such as “gig” and contract workers. “We see you, and we’re going to be there for you,” he promised. He also mentioned help for university and college students who will be looking for summer work in the coming months. Details of these aid programs are being finalized, with Finance Minister Bill Morneau to provide updates shortly.

United States Ban on Exports

While shipments of emergency protective equipment were stopped at the American border last night, Trudeau was optimistic about constructive conversations with the U.S. administration. He noted that Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne had a conversation with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this morning. Trudeau reiterated that he expects that these supplies will be delivered.

Canadian Business Resilience Network

Trudeau acknowledged the work of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce which, in partnership with government, has launched the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help drive the economic recovery after the pandemic. For more information on the CBRN, visit their site here.

Relief for Credit Card Debt

The PM also thanked the six major banks and cooperatives for agreeing to reduce interest rates on credit cards, both personal and business, by 50% for those who need it. Individuals and businesses should contact their bank directly for more information.

Doing Your Part

Trudeau once again asked Canadians to do their part in combating COVID-19. Yesterday the government called on Canadians with specialized skill sets to sign up for the National COVID-19 Volunteer Recruitment Campaign. The government is looking for help with case tracking and contact tracing, health system surge capacity and case data collection and reporting. Reservists are also being offered full-time employment opportunities to bolster Canadian Armed Forces numbers.

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

The Enterprise Team

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