Sideline Video: In respect of the social distancing rule and the local authorities' call to help combat the COVID-19, the doctors of Chinese descent in Province British Columbia, Canada, have jointly opened a hotline to telecommunicate with their patients. (Xinhua/Li Baodong, Zhang Mocheng)
"If you lost your job because of COVID-19 but are full-time, contract or self-employed, this new benefit will be there for you. If you are sick or quarantined or looking after someone sick or taking care of your kids, it's there for you. If you are still employed but not receiving income because of this crisis, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit is there for you."
OTTAWA, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that more financial aid will go to Canadians and businesses to weather the COVID-19 pandemic after the Canadian parliament approved the emergency package of 82 billion Canadian dollars (about 56 billion U.S. dollars).
The parliament passed the legislation of the emergency package of 82 billion Canadian dollars earlier Wednesday.
Trudeau told a daily news conference that his government is aware of the uncertainty facing the country and has merged two public assistance measures into a single program to make it easier for Canadians who are out of or off work because ofk COVID-19 to apply and receive money.
A woman wearing a face mask crosses a street in Toronto, Canada, March 23, 2020. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua)
It combines the Emergency Care Benefit (10 billion Canadian dollars) and Emergency Support Benefit (5 billion Canadian dollars) into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and will provide workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with 2,000 Canadian dollars (about 1400 U.S. dollars) per month for the upcoming four months.
"If you lost your job because of COVID-19 but are full-time, contract or self-employed, this new benefit will be there for you. If you are sick or quarantined or looking after someone sick or taking care of your kids, it's there for you. If you are still employed but not receiving income because of this crisis, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit is there for you," Trudeau said.
Trudeau said an application portal will be launched quickly and Canadians should be able to get money within 10 days of applying, noting though that money is unlikely to start flowing to people until April 6.
Customers wearing face masks shop at a supermarket in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, March 24, 2020. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua)
He also indicated his government is reviewing the demands of business groups to substantially increase the wage subsidy so employers can keep workers on the payroll even if they are off in self-isolation.
"We are absolutely looking at more direct help for businesses," he said. "We are working with business groups. We are working with small business groups and hearing their concerns, looking very carefully at the models put forward in other parts of the world, like Denmark and Germany, and looking at how we could make that work and make an equivalency here in Canada," he said.
More than 60 Canadian business groups have reportedly urged Trudeau government to provide direct funding for employees.
A sign reminds people to keep two metre social distance is placed at English Bay in Vancouver, Canada, March 23, 2020. (Photo by Liang Sen/Xinhua)
The prime minister said the government will provide financial aid to the media companies that have seen their advertising revenue dry up as corporations have had to close their doors because of the COVID-19 crisis.
As of 13:30 p.m. Canada's Eastern Time Wednesday, there were more than 3,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths in Canada.
(Article by Xinhua Reporter Li Baodong) ■