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April 25, 2020 – Federal government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

In the exceptional circumstances of the current health state of emergency, here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the federal government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, announced a $62.5-million aid package to support the fish and seafood processing industry.

This program will enable companies to increase their fish and seafood storage and preservation capacities and enhance measures to protect workers.

No immunity
Prime Minister Trudeau stated that no one can base themselves on herd immunity to protect themselves in the coming months.

“That’s why we’ve invested resources in creating a working and research group to deepen our understanding and knowledge of this disease,” he said.

No reopening plan will be accepted on the basis of the idea that some people have immunity.

A controlled economic restart
The Canadian prime minister stressed the consensus among provincial and territorial premiers that any measures to restart the economy will be based on the opinion of medical and scientific experts.

Mr. Trudeau stated that restarting the economy must take into account the protection of all workers, who will have to respect social distancing and hygiene measures and the mandatory use of protective equipment to guarantee their safety.

“The next phase will be crucial. If we don’t put the right measures in place, we risk losing all the progress we’ve made so far.”

Imports and domestic production
Mr. Trudeau reported that several cargo planes loaded with protective equipment will be landing in Canada next week. Parallel to this, several additional Canadian companies are now contributing to increasing the rate of production of these essential goods during the health emergency.

Better treatment of seniors
Mr. Trudeau stated that once the pandemic is over he intends to initiate discussions across the country on how to improve the treatment of seniors in the future.

“We must think hard about how we can do better. We will also have to discuss federal health transfers,” said Mr. Trudeau. He affirmed that there is no question of the federal government interfering in areas of provincial jurisdiction, in particular the management of residential and long-term care centres (CHSLDs).

Acknowledgement of the food industry
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked all those who work in the food industry for guaranteeing the supply chain and distribution of food to the population.