Finance Minister Bill Morneau. (The Canadian Press)

Morneau says Ottawa will announce support for those quarantined due to COVID-19

‘Our government is planning for every contingency,’ Finance Minister Bill Morneau says

The federal government is preparing to undertake measures designed to protect Canadians and the country’s economy from the outbreak of a novel form of coronavirus.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Friday that the federal government will soon announce support for Canadians who are quarantined to prevent the spread of the virus known as COVID-19.

He also said the government will increase its risk adjustment provision in its forthcoming budget to ensure that it is ready and able to respond to COVID-19, which has caused dramatic drops in the stock market and has sickened dozens of Canadians and hundreds of thousands more globally.

“It’s important to keep in mind that what this will mean for the Canadian economy ultimately depends on the depth and geographical spread of the virus and these things cannot be known, until they are known,” he said in a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto.

“Our government is planning for every contingency.”

READ MORE: Eight new B.C. coronavirus cases, one with no travel link

Morneau said he has already seen the virus having an impact on commodity prices, travel and global supply chains as well as consumer and business sentiment.

He said the government will continue to monitor the impact on businesses and workers and promises that the government has the tools to respond swiftly.

“Although things are changing quickly, it’s clear that the COVID-19 outbreak is going to impact the real economy, and markets,” he said.

Morneau said he has been in touch with his international counterparts to decide how to address the outbreak.

At a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors, he said he talked about the need to enhance global risk monitoring and on Tuesday he discussed with his G7 counterparts “the potential for greater collaboration and co-ordination.”

The Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate target by half a percentage point on Wednesday in hopes of helping the country’s economy cope with the impact of COVID-19. The move followed a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut its key interest rate by the same amount on Tuesday.

Morneau also used his speech to address blockades in February that resulted in cancelled train service and temporary rail worker layoffs as demonstrators across the country fought the Coastal GasLink pipeline due to come to B.C.

Demonstrators blocked rail lines in B.C., Ontario and Quebec for weeks as critics called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step in and stop the protesting with immediate police force. Trudeau instead opted to allow his ministers to engage in discussions with demonstrators to resolve their concerns.

“From the very beginning, we knew that we could not cut corners and that dialogue, no matter how difficult, was the path we had to follow,” Morneau said.

“While many were critical, our approach has delivered results.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Honda driver may be key witness to Langley crash: RCMP

Police are hoping to find the driver of what appears to be a grey Honda Civic

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service, will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

Outbreak puts Langley woman’s kidney transplant on hold

It’s unknown when she’ll be able to receive a new kidney

VIDEO: Police watchdog recommends charges against off-duty officer involved in Langley crash

An off-duty officer was involved in a Langley crash last year that sent a motorcyclist to hospital

As 300K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

Most Read