In his daily address Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that all small and medium-sized businesses – whose revenue has decreased by 30% or more because of the COVID-19 pandemic – will be eligible for the 75% wage subsidy detailed last week.
Trudeau outlined the details of what this could look like for employees, and said specifically that the government will offer up to 75% of salaries on the first $58,700 – this will break down to $847 per week.
The subsidy will be offered regardless of the number of employees the business has, and will be back-dated until March 15th.
This announcement also came with a cautionary word from Trudeau to businesses, urging them not to misuse the program and if they can continue to pay their staff, to do so.
“Every dollar of this should go to workers,” he said.
This was an increase from the is an initial announcement of only a 10% subsidy, and also comes alongside an emergency guaranteed business loan of up to $40,000 – of which $10,000 may be “forgiven”, according to Trudeau.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also said that the military is “gearing up” to begin combating the coronavirus pandemic.
“Over the past few weeks the Canadian Armed Forces have been gearing up to support our efforts and our communities, as we fight COVID-19,” Trudeau said.
The federal government has not yet received a formal request from a province or territory for the military’s intervention, though he says they are ready to respond if need be.
On Sunday, more measures to help the country’s most vulnerable were also announced – including new funding for children in way of $7.5 million for more trained counselors and to go towards KidsHelpPhone.
Along with this, there was also $9 million for United Way Canada to help seniors with health check-ins and grocery delivery announced.
Today, Monday March 30th is also the first day the new travel restrictions for Canada will go into effect – barring anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 from boarding any domestic flights or trains.
The federal government recently announced an $82 billion assistance package for Canadians and businesses struggling financially during the global pandemic. This was followed by a $5 billion relief package announced by the B.C. provincial government.
Trudeau also announced a 75% wage subsidy for small and medium sized businesses and a new Canada Emergency Business Account which will allow banks to offer $40,000 loans to businesses, interest-free for the first year.
The provincial government also announced the indefinite suspension of all in-person classes at K-12 schools in B.C., closure of all bars and restaurants, and a moratorium on evictions among other steps to enforce social distancing measures.
Canada has tightened its borders and is denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.
U.S. citizens are no longer an exception to this rule, and non-essential travel between U.S. and Canada has been temporarily banned as of March 21st. Moreover international flights have now been restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19 line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 752,678.
Over 36,226 people have died from the illness and 158,700 have made a full recovery.