Trudeau warns of text scams about Canada's new coronavirus emergency benefit

Mar 26 2020, 9:07 am

A text scam is going around about Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

On Thursday, the prime minister said not to trust the texts, and to only rely on the Canadian government website for details about the new benefit.

As COVID-19 is a “global crisis,” Trudeau was on a call with the G20 this morning, as the group pledged to work together to make sure WHO and public health agencies have resources they need to fight the virus.

During his daily updates from Rideau Cottage, the prime minister was asked about a Global News report regarding US President Donald Trump putting military near Canadian borders. Trudeau said he wants to keep the borders demilitarized.

“Canada and the US have the longest unmilitarized border in the world,” said Trudeau. “We feel it needs to remain that way.”

This comes a day after Canada made it mandatory to self-isolate if arriving from abroad.

The mandate was because “some people have not been taking this seriously,” according to Trudeau.

“They’re getting together with friends after being away. This conduct isn’t just disappointing, it’s dangerous,” he said.

The new order is being implemented by the Canada Border Services Agency at points of entry, and was in effect at midnight, March 26.

“Failure to comply with this order is an offence under the Quarantine Act,” reads a statement from the government.

“Maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. Further, a person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while wilfully or recklessly contravening this Act or the regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 or to imprisonment of up to three years, or to both.”

During his press conference, Trudeau was also asked about credit card rates for Canadians, and said the finance minister has had conversations with banks about rates.

“We recognize they’re a significant challenge for many Canadians at this point.”

The House of Commons passed the emergency bill for Canada’s $82 billion aid package for those affected by COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was announced at the time, and it will allow applicants to receive $2,000 a month for the next four months for those who have lost their income during the coronavirus pandemic.

The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15 until October 3, 2020.

Last week, Trudeau announced economic measures the government is taking to help Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic.

The $82 billion aid package represents 3% of the country’s GDP, Trudeau said.

This includes a $27 billion fund that will be directly supporting businesses and individuals, as well as $55 million put forward in tax deferrals.