COVID-19 Update for April 9, 2020 – 12:15pm

In his daily briefing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about three major reports released earlier in the day: job loss data, budget impacts and potential outcome scenarios from public health officials.

Job Loss Data

Figures released by Statistics Canada this morning showed that 1 million Canadians lost their jobs in the month of March, bumping the national unemployment rate to 7.8%. This represents a 5.3% decrease in all jobs in Canada and is a record number of jobs lost in a one month period.

Sectors hardest hit were accommodation and food services, with a 23.9% decrease (294,000 jobs) and information, culture and recreation, which declined by 13.3% (104,000 jobs).

The Prime Minister reassured Canadians that this pandemic won’t last forever and “things will get better. Our country will come roaring back.”

You can read the Statistics Canada news release here, which includes an infographic of the magnitude of the job losses compared to the last three recessions.

Economic Impact of COVID-19

Earlier this morning the Parliamentary Budget Officer – the government’s spending watchdog – released its analysis of the impact of COVID-19 and the government’s Economic Response Plan.

The PBO reported that the federal budget deficit for 2019-20 will increase to $27.4 billion and $184.2 billion in 2020-21. This represents, respectively, 1.2% and 8.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), levels that have not been seen since the 1984-85 recession.

You can read the PBO’s entire report here as well as analysis of each of the government’s economic stimulus measures here.

COVID-19 Projections

Trudeau was asked about public health projections released this morning. He said Canadians are at a “fork in the road” and that all Canadians have a role to play in determining how the pandemic unfolds in this country.

He acknowledged that under all scenarios the peak appears to be coming sometime between late spring and early fall. (Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo, in the morning briefing, said it appears that the first wave of the virus will last until the summer, but “that won’t be the end,” cautioning that in the absence of a treatment or vaccine, the fight against the virus is likely going to require waves of epidemic controls, spanning months.)

Trudeau said he is focused on getting Canada through this first, and most impactful, wave of the virus, while recognizing that there will be a number of smaller waves of COVID-19 outbreaks – and that this is will be the “new normal” – until a vaccine is developed.

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

The Enterprise Team

We hope you are finding these COVID-19 updates useful. In addition to trying to keep on top of the fast-changing situation, Enterprise is also working to support local charities during these challenging times. If you are able, your contributions to this effort would be deeply appreciated.

To donate, please click on the link.

Many thanks.

Stay safe. Stay healthy

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