Justin Trudeau unveils $82bn in aid for families, small businesses amid coronavirus uncertainty

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday announced additional economic measures to help Canadians affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Trudeau said the government will spend up to $82 billion, including $27 billion in direct support for Canadian workers and businesses.

“These are extraordinary times, our government is taking extraordinary measures,” Trudeau said. “The measures we’re announcing today will provide up to $27 billion dollars in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy.”

Trudeau said combined, the $82 billion in support represents more than three per cent of Canada’s GDP.

He said the economic measures will ensure that Canada’s economy rebounds after the pandemic.

“While we are taking a significant step today to help families get through these challenging times, our government is prepared to do more,” he said.

Here’s what the government has announced:

Sickness benefits beyond EI

For Canadians without paid sick leave or access to Employment Insurance sicknewss benefits, the government is introducing a new Emergency Care Benefit that will provide up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks. The benefit, which the government estimates could cost up to $10 billion, is for worker who must self-isolate, those who are caring for a family member sick with COVID-19 and parents who are unable to earn income while schools are closed as a result of childcare duties.

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