The climate of uncertainty brought upon by the escalating COVID-19 pandemic has slashed hourly paid jobs, part-time positions, and flexible positions.
Without a stable and predictable stream of income, many Canadian families who were already on thin disposable income margins are now having to make immensely difficult financial choices.
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But the federal government is aiming to address this, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterating in his speech today that an announcement is forthcoming.
“We understand that there’s a lot of people who are extremely worried about their capacity to feed their families, pay their rents, and pay their houses, especially for those who have part-time jobs or vulnerable jobs and don’t have employment insurance,” said Trudeau.
“Our focus right now is on ensuring that Canadians who are staying home from work have enough money to buy groceries and pay their rent. These are measures that we will be moving forward over the coming days to ensure people can keep themselves and their loved ones safe and healthy.”
Such policies would be particularly highly beneficial in the Vancouver and Toronto rental housing markets, where Canadians spend the most of their income on housing.
It is unclear who will exactly benefit, and when and how financial relief will be provided, but the Prime Minister said money could come into the hands of Canadians within weeks.
He also explained the federal government will take immediate short-term relief actions while planning for longer-term strategies.
“In the medium term and the long term, we will need to invest significant amounts to restore people’s confidence in the economy, and restore the kind of growth that will ensure a better future for all Canadians. We will do those things as we need,” he continued.
These policies will add to the previously announced $10-billion economic stimulus package to help support the country’s businesses, and $1 billion towards the direct costs of containing and fighting the pandemic.
With coronavirus on the rise, Health Canada is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.