COVID-19 Update for March 23, 2020 – 12:00pm

In his strongest language to date, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau told Canadians to “go home and stay home” at his news conference this morning.

Saying that “enough is enough,” the Prime Minister said the government is willing to take any measure, including enforcement, to ensure that Canadians stay safe.

Asked if provincial borders should be closed to travel, the Prime Minister said he would be speaking to provincial premiers tonight about additional steps that are required to prevent the spread of the disease.

New funding announced for vaccine development and testing

The Prime Minister announced new funding of $192 million for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. This announcement includes agreements with Canadian institutions including National Research Council and labs including AbCellera in British Columbia and BlueDot in Toronto.

He issued a call to action to all post-secondary institutions asking for help in fighting COVID-19, noting that “we need all hands on deck” and referencing, the centralized website for government RFPs.

Emergency Services Act

The Prime Minister said that the federal Emergency Services Act overrides provincial and municipal authority, taking powers from the provinces and putting them at the federal level.

He said this would require discussion with the provinces and that no province has formally or officially asked the federal government to invoke the act.

He added that the federal government is watching the situation closely.

Other updates:

  • A federal advertising campaign is being launched that will span across Canada. Trudeau noted that there is now no excuse for not knowing public health best practices during the pandemic.
  • An additional $5 billion in lending capacity is now available for farmers and producers through Farm Credit Canada to keep food growing and getting it on the tables of Canadians.
  • Three flights to Peru and one each from Ecuador, Salvador and Guatemala have been scheduled today to bring Canadians there home.

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

The Enterprise Team

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