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COVID-19 Update | Wednesday, March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

  • The House of Commons passed an emergency bill, C-13, COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, early this morning which is now before the Senate. This is hoped to pass through the Senate today, and will allow the government to support Canadians immediately. The Health and Finance committee will be convening virtually on a regular basis moving forward to discuss the government’s progress. 
  • The government is merging two previously announced employment insurance benefits for Canadians who are out of or off of work due to COVID-19. 
  • The new benefit combines the Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit into the ‘Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)’, which will provide $2,000 a month for four months to people who are off of work without an income as a result of this virus. This includes those who have lost their job, contractors, self-employed, those who are sick, in quarantine or taking care of children or seniors. All employees of a business, including the owner, are eligible.
  • This will aim to simplify the process – online portal applications will be available soon, and Canadians will be able to receive the benefit within 10 days of applying. The government is hoping to have this initiative in place by April 6th.
  • It was announced today that it will now be a legal obligation, as of midnight tonight, for anyone entering Canada to quarantine for 14 days – essential workers crossing the border are excluded from this obligation. This mandatory isolation is under the ‘Quarantine Act’.
  • Nearly one million people applied for EI in the last week, and 1,300 people have been added to Service Canada to respond to this demand. 143,000 claims have been processed since March 16th.
  • Canada has been testing approximately 10,000 people per day, and is getting the latest modelling from PHAC today, exploring the best way to share with Canadians. As of March 25, there are 2,792 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 27 total deaths.
  • Canada is looking to other countries for successful models for the next phase of support, including Denmark and Germany.
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