OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is offering $14 billion to the provincial and territorial governments for measures to keep COVID-19 at bay.
How the money is distributed will depend on reaching what Trudeau calls a “safe-restart agreement” between the federal government and each province or territory.
“We’re talking about more personal protective equipment for healthcare workers on the frontlines so they can focus on saving lives instead of worrying about their safety,” Trudeau says. “We’re talking about making sure businesses have the PPE they need so that every Canadian is safe on the job no matter where in the country they go back to work.”
The funding would also support for cash strapped municipalities, help fund paid sick leave, and provide other help for schools and seniors.
Trudeau announces he & the Premiers are working on a "safe restart agreement" – would cover a wide variety of items, including PPE, child care, seniors assistance, etc
— Courtney Theriault (@cspotweet) June 5, 2020
Trudeau says every province and territory faces a unique situation, so a one-size-fits-all agreement isn’t possible.
“But here’s the bottom line. For seniors and others who need extra support, for kids or for workers, this plan is for you. With this ‘safe-restart agreement’, we’re proposing a standard of support to keep every Canadian right across the country safe and healthy as we get our country back on our feet,” the prime minister explains.
“We must move quickly and carefully to get this done to support services Canadians rely on to get our communities back up and running.”
The funding commitment was brought to the provincial and territorial leaders on Thursday.
Meanwhile, numbers released on Friday show more jobs were added in Canada last month, but the unemployment rate has risen to a historic level.
Trudeau says these numbers show that, while we are on the right track, more work needs to be done to help Canadians.
“To really move forward, we need a Canada-wide plan on safely and effectively restarting the economy,” he says. “Having the right approach and the right resources to back it up will determine where we are not just in the coming weeks but into the fall and winter. Canadians have sacrificed too much over the past couple of months to lose the progress we’ve made.”
Canada’s unemployment rate has risen to 13.7 per cent.