Feds increase COVID-19 aid package by $25-billion

A medical official displays a COVID-19 test kit in Amsterdam The Netherlands.
Robin Van Lonkhuujsen  ANP  AFP via Getty Images

A medical official displays a COVID-19 test kit in Amsterdam The Netherlands. Robin Van Lonkhuujsen ANP AFP via Getty Images

In an update on Wednesday, Mr Trudeau said people will receive funds 10 days after they make their claim.

The CERB will put $2,000 a month for the next four months into the pockets of people who are unemployed, sick or quarantined, caring for someone who is ill or taking care of children.

"Extraordinary challenges necessitate extraordinary measures, and that is indeed how we've gotten to where we are with the benefits that we are putting forward to Canadians, the benefits we are putting forward to support businesses, and the benefits we are putting forward to support our economy", Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said.

This $82 billion relief package accounts for over 3% of the country's GDP and is aimed to help Canadians pay for rent and groceries, while businesses will be able to pay their employees and bills during these uncertain times.

Affected workers would have to fill out an online application and meet a few conditions to qualify.

It would apply to any affected workers between March 15 and October 3. Depending on how things go, the unemployment rate could jump as high as 11.7 per cent by the second quarter, TD Economics wrote in a report Wednesday.

He also said that one of the goals of the new benefit is to ensure that it's dependable.

With almost 1 million people applying for employment insurance last week, Trudeau stated the new programme is in the process of being set up.

Provides additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes with a special top-up payment under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit, delivering $5.5 billion in support.

People who were working full-time, on a contract or self-employed will be covered by the new benefit. The details on that initiative will be unveiled shortly.

"The pain that small- and medium-sized firms are feeling is intense", he wrote. "We are working with business groups".

Because of the stark increase in community transmission, "the total number of cases are nearly now an equal mix between travellers who were exposed to the virus outside of Canada and their close contacts, as well as cases that were exposed in the community setting in Canada", said Tam.

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide workers who have lost their incomes due to the coronavirus with $2,000 a month for the next four months, and will replace the two financial measures - the emergency care and emergency support benefits - announced last week, said Trudeau.

Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply, the website said. "We need to make sure we are getting that money out quickly but also reliantly".

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