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June 26, 2020 – Federal government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Canadian government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Red Cross workers in CHSLDs

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that as of July 6, Red Cross workers will take over from the Canadian Armed Forces soldiers deployed in Québec CHSLDs.

A first group of 150 members of the Red Cross will start working in the CHSLDs on July 6, to be joined by another 750 members between then and July 29.

The prime minister stated that the soldiers will be gradually replaced as Red Cross members arrive in the 47 CHSLDs, where they have been providing support since April.

They will stay until September 15, as requested by Québec Premier François Legault.

Negotiations around the $14-billion transfer

During their 15th telephone conference, the premiers and prime minister still did not reach a consensus on the $14-billion transfer the federal government wants to make to the provinces and territories to support them.

Mr. Trudeau has maintained the conditions he wants to impose on the provinces so that they respect certain obligations around the use of this money, particularly for the purchase of personal protective equipment, financial assistance for municipalities and to cover 10 paid sick days for workers who are not entitled to this leave under their current working conditions.

The purpose of the last condition is to ensure that in the event of a second wave of contagion, which experts are predicting for the fall, workers with COVID-19-related symptoms will not be forced to go into work in order to cover rent and groceries.