All out of work Canadians due to the coronavirus pandemic will receive CAN$2,000 ($1,399) a month for four months, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week.
The “Canadian Emergency Response Benefit” will also be available to anyone who is out of work due to sickness or who must stay home to care for children. All schools in Canada are closed. Canadians will begin to receive their money later this month.
The Canadian Senate is also mulling over a proposed CAN$82 billion ($57 billion) stimulus package previously passed by Parliament in emergency session.
About two-thirds of Canada’s 19-million workforce have already suffered furloughs or are about to, according to an Angus Reid poll.
To date, Canada has 2,851 COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths. 185 have recovered. Canada is performing 10,000 tests daily, Trudeau said.
“[It is] the greatest health care crisis in our history,” he said. Trudeau is nearing the end of isolation following his wife’s positive test for the virus.
At least half of the Covid-19 Canadian cases are attributed to “community spreading” (non-travelers). The other half are Canadians who returned from out-of-country trips.
All of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories have declared a varying degree of health crisis.
Although there is no country-wide shutdown, Canada’s two most populated provinces, Ontario and Quebec, have closed all non-essential service providers. As in the US, grocery stores and pharmacies remain open for business under strict “social distancing” regimens.
Trudeau has repeatedly pleaded with Canadians to “go home and stay home.”
Itis not clear whether all Canadians, regardless of employment status, will get this money. Knowing the Canadian mindset and reputation for forward-thinking and “social justice,” however, I suspect that they will, including retirees and others.
If only it didn’t get so damn cold so early in Canada…