COVID-19 Update for March 24, 2020 – 12:00pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s daily update focused on the proposed emergency legislation that is being tabled in the House of Commons this afternoon. The bill is expected to pass today, with Opposition support, and should receive Royal Assent tomorrow.

This development comes after backlash from Opposition members last night who were worried that the Liberals would introduce a bill that included overreaching powers – including the ability to introduce new taxes without a parliamentary vote. Trudeau said his Liberals worked with Opposition parties to allow “that flexibility” needed to get measures out the door and to “keep in place our Democratic institutions.”

The Prime Minister also provided details on yesterday’s First Ministers teleconference. He said the focus of their discussion was ensuring all jurisdictions across the country have the resources they need, including COVID-19 testing equipment and supplies.

They also talked about the emergency measures taken by provinces so far and whether additional measures, such as invoking the Federal Emergencies Act, will be necessary.

Trudeau once again warned Canadians who are ignoring public health measures such as social distancing: “If people do not follow these guidelines, we will put much more stringent measures in place.”

He again asserted that the Federal Emergencies Act is a last resort but “all options are on the table” and if people do not comply the government will be forced to take additional steps.

An update was also provided on repatriation flights for Canadians stuck abroad. Flights from Morocco, Peru, Panama, Tunisia, Ukraine. Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Spain have been scheduled for the next few days.

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

The Enterprise Team

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