Canada reaches $4B deal on wage top up for essential workers

May 7 2020, 8:22 am

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government reached an agreement with all provinces and territories regarding wage top ups for essential workers.

“You are fighting the good fighting since the start of this crisis,” said Trudeau during his press conference on Thursday.

“You deserve to be properly paid for the essential work you are doing.”

Trudeau said the joint effort with the provinces and territories has been “a truly collaborative effort”, adding that the federal government will be providing $4 billion across the country.

Who gets the wage top up will be up to premiers and provinces, according to the prime minister.

“If you are risking your health and receiving minimum wage you deserve to earn more,” said Trudeau.

The federal government said these measures are part of Canada’s comprehensive economic plan to help Canadians and businesses through COVID-19 pandemic’s period of uncertainty.

In a statement, Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, said front line workers deserve our support.

Canada’s front line workers are dealing directly with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by taking care of Canadians in our hospitals and nursing homes,” said Morneau.

“This measure will help workers critical to the current COVID-19 response get the compensation they need.”

Trudeau said that there are currently 1,200 Canadian Armed Forces members spread across the country to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In Ontario, there are 265 CAF members in five long term care homes. In Quebec, there are 670 members at 20 long term care homes.