Coronavirus Updates Canada: Trudeau Just Made It Way Easier to Get the Wage Subsidy

Plus, Canada will fund 100 percent of wages for student summer jobs, and Alberta and Quebec released grim death projections after calls for more transparency surfaced last week.

Apr 8 2020, 12:56pmSnap

Updated at 2 p.m. (EDT): Canada is relaxing the conditions that make businesses eligible for the 75 percent wage subsidy and expanding aid to include students who are currently out of work.

The Canada Wage Subsidy is intended to support businesses that have experienced dramatic losses as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and was initially going to support organizations that have experienced a 30 percent drop in revenue in March compared to the same time last year.

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Now, businesses that have suffered a 15 percent drop in revenue since January or February are eligible, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

The aid provides employers with $847 per week per employee as a way to avoid layoffs and keep staff on payroll. Payments will be retroactive to March 15.

As COVID-19 continues to batter the global economy, Trudeau has said repeatedly that his government has had to act fast to combat the crisis. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), launched Monday, and will pay eligible applicants $2,000 per month for four months.

More than 4 millions Canadians have applied for employment insurance or the CERB since March 15.

But many people—students who rely on summer jobs, for example, and people who haven’t made any income over the past year—are not eligible for the aid.

Canada will now offer Canada Student Jobs (CSJ) employers enough funding to cover up to 100 percent of wages for students.

The subsidy will cover jobs, including part-time work, until February 28, 2021, and is expected to create about 70,000 positions for students between the ages of 15 and 30.

Cabinet ministers are meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss the subsidy. Trudeau said many ministers will call into the meeting, but he will attend in person.

“I know many of you are anxious to see this subsidy delivered,” Trudeau said.

100 cases, 8 deaths in Quebec nursing home

A nursing home in Quebec has confirmed more than 100 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, with eight patients already dead.

The conditions are similar to those in Italy or Spain, one of the facility’s nurses told CBC News.

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The CHSLD de Sainte-Dorothée confirmed that more than 100 patients have COVID-19. Eight patients have already died from the disease.

Several nurses—who all spoke with CBC with the condition of anonymity—said the CHSLD is understaffed and lacks necessary personal protective equipment.

Long-term care facilities are hotspots for COVID-19 outbreaks, accounting for 45 percent of all deaths in Quebec alone.

The worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Ontario have taken place at nursing facilities, including a centre in Bobcaygeon, which has recorded a staggering 28 deaths.

Toronto has recalled $200,000 worth of poor quality surgical face masks that had been distributed in long-term care homes.

Local Toronto officials said city-owned care homes had received about 62,600 faulty masks.

According to Global News, Toronto’s fire chief said the masks represented 50 percent of the city’s stock, but there are still enough masks for two to three weeks.

Grim new death projections from Quebec and Alberta

On Tuesday, Alberta announced that anywhere between 400 and 3,100 deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are expected by summer’s end at the same time that Quebec said it is expecting 1,260 deaths by the end of April—at best.

The provinces revealed their stark projections after calls for more transparency surfaced last week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau still hasn’t released numbers for Canada, saying that he is waiting until enough national data is collected to produce “sufficient analysis.”

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In a televised address on Tuesday night, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the province estimates as many as 800,000 people will contract the virus.

Kenney said peak cases will likely arrive in mid-May, so public health orders that mandate physical distancing will be in place for several weeks yet.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault also offered grim COVID-19 projections, with the best- and worst-case scenarios.

If Quebec residents adhere to physical distancing, the province can expect 1,263 deaths by the end of April, and nearly 30,000 COVID-19 cases. But if emergency measures are ignored, they can expect 8,860 deaths and nearly double the number of cases in the same timeframe.

Alberta has recorded 26 deaths as of Wednesday morning, whereas Quebec has recorded 150.

Ontario released its projections on Friday, with up to 1,600 estimated to die in April alone. Ontario Premier Doug Ford said up to 15,000 Ontarians are expected to die from COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic if physical distancing measures remain in place.

Models and projections are very inexact, and current data is used to underscore the need for strict physical distancing, said the president of public health, Peter Donnelly, on Friday.

Faulty face masks

Toronto has recalled $200,000 worth of poor quality surgical face masks that had been distributed in long-term care homes.

Local Toronto officials said city-owned care homes had received about 62,600 faulty masks.

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According to Global News, Toronto’s fire chief said the masks represented 50 percent of the city’s stock, but there are still enough masks for two to three weeks.

The worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Ontario have taken place at nursing facilities, including a centre in Bobcaygeon, which has recorded a staggering 28 deaths.

COVID-19 cases keep climbing

As of Wednesday morning, the country had 17,897 probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 380 deaths.

Here is the breakdown of confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases across Canada:

British Columbia: 1,291

Alberta: 1,373

Saskatchewan: 260

Manitoba: 217

Ontario: 4,726

Quebec: 9,340

Newfoundland and Labrador: 228

New Brunswick: 105

Nova Scotia: 310

Prince Edward Island: 22

Yukon: 7

Northwest Territories: 5

Nunavut: 0

Late Tuesday, the global total of confirmed COVID-19 cases sat above 1.2 million, with more than 72,000 deaths.

Follow Anya Zoledziowski on Twitter.

Tagged:

Health, News, death, Justin Trudeau, Canadian News, canadian politics, COVID-19, Canada Coronavirus News

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