COVID-19 Update | Monday, March 23
March 24, 2020
- Today, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the importance of social distancing to help flatten the curve of COVID-19., telling Canadians with a strong message to “go home, and stay home.” Social distancing means keeping at least 2 meters away from other people, staying home whenever possible, and avoiding all group situations. There was a warning made to those not heeding this advice, that this is something we must do if we want to slow this virus; “listening is our duty and staying home is our way to serve.” The federal government is launching an advertising campaign with Canadian icons today to encourage Canadians to stay home.
- The Prime Minister will host a call today with Canada’s Premiers to discuss if more is needed for execution across provinces to implement social distancing. They will also discuss economic measures for families and small businesses.
- New measures were announced to support farmers and agri-food businesses in Canada – $5 billion dollars is being made available in lending capacity for farmers and producers through Farm Credit Canada.
- $192 million in new projects will be prioritized under the new Strategic Innovation Fund to support large scale projects such as the development and production of vaccines in Canada. The government will be signing an agreement with companies in Vancouver, Quebec City, and providing funding to the University of Saskatchewan, National Research Council of Canada and BlueDot, in hopes of a long-term solution to the pandemic. Minister Bains has sent a call to action to every educational institution to identify equipment and expertise.
- Canadians abroad were again urged to register with the government. Those abroad are advised to take commercial flights while still available. The government has secured operations needed for Air Canada to charter three flights from Peru, and flights from multiple airlines in the coming days from Morocco, Spain, Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala.
- Team Canada and the Canadian Paralympic team have made the difficult decision to not send athletes to games this summer.
- The House of Commons will be convening tomorrow at 12pm for emergency legislation. Thirty-two MPs will be present. Legislation will get passed and likely pass to the Senate on early Wednesday morning.
- Implementing the Emergencies Act in the country is being left as a last resort.
- As of March 23, there are 1,432 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 20 total deaths.