COVID-19 Update for March 17, 2020 – 12:00pm

Moments ago, Prime Minister Trudeau held a news conference to update the public on the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Prime Minister reiterated the importance of a number of recommendations made by Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam. He also praised Ontario for its leadership in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and declaring a state of emergency.
  • He noted that: “Canada is here for you” and “things will get better.”
  • Trudeau said his Cabinet met earlier this morning and will be meeting again this afternoon.

Trudeau hinted at a number of announcements coming up this week:

  • An economic stimulus package will be announced tomorrow, March 18.
  • A number of tax changes will be proposed by the end of this week, aimed at increasing flexibility for individuals and liquidity for businesses.
  • A $5,000 emergency loan will be made available through Global Affairs Canada for Canadians who are abroad and trying to come home.
  • The government is examining the Emergency Measures Act and determining if any changes need to be made to it.
  • Parks Canada is suspending visitor services at all national parks and heritage sites starting Wednesday, March 19.
  • The federal government is taking a leadership role in increasing communications channels between Premiers, Parliamentarians, and other stakeholders.

The federal government is considering recalling Parliament on a temporary basis to pass legislation that might be required to move on the measure listed above.

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