Finance Minister Bill Morneau. (The Canadian Press)

Morneau says Ottawa will announce support for those quarantined due to COVID-19

‘Our government is planning for every contingency,’ Finance Minister Bill Morneau says

The federal government is preparing to undertake measures designed to protect Canadians and the country’s economy from the outbreak of a novel form of coronavirus.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Friday that the federal government will soon announce support for Canadians who are quarantined to prevent the spread of the virus known as COVID-19.

He also said the government will increase its risk adjustment provision in its forthcoming budget to ensure that it is ready and able to respond to COVID-19, which has caused dramatic drops in the stock market and has sickened dozens of Canadians and hundreds of thousands more globally.

“It’s important to keep in mind that what this will mean for the Canadian economy ultimately depends on the depth and geographical spread of the virus and these things cannot be known, until they are known,” he said in a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto.

“Our government is planning for every contingency.”

READ MORE: Eight new B.C. coronavirus cases, one with no travel link

Morneau said he has already seen the virus having an impact on commodity prices, travel and global supply chains as well as consumer and business sentiment.

He said the government will continue to monitor the impact on businesses and workers and promises that the government has the tools to respond swiftly.

“Although things are changing quickly, it’s clear that the COVID-19 outbreak is going to impact the real economy, and markets,” he said.

Morneau said he has been in touch with his international counterparts to decide how to address the outbreak.

At a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors, he said he talked about the need to enhance global risk monitoring and on Tuesday he discussed with his G7 counterparts “the potential for greater collaboration and co-ordination.”

The Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate target by half a percentage point on Wednesday in hopes of helping the country’s economy cope with the impact of COVID-19. The move followed a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut its key interest rate by the same amount on Tuesday.

Morneau also used his speech to address blockades in February that resulted in cancelled train service and temporary rail worker layoffs as demonstrators across the country fought the Coastal GasLink pipeline due to come to B.C.

Demonstrators blocked rail lines in B.C., Ontario and Quebec for weeks as critics called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step in and stop the protesting with immediate police force. Trudeau instead opted to allow his ministers to engage in discussions with demonstrators to resolve their concerns.

“From the very beginning, we knew that we could not cut corners and that dialogue, no matter how difficult, was the path we had to follow,” Morneau said.

“While many were critical, our approach has delivered results.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Snowfall warning in effect for Coquihalla Highway

Total accumulations of up to 25 cm can be expected by this evening

Hope Food Bank to run weekly, as other services close doors

Demand for the service is expected to rise as getting supplies becomes tricky

Abbotsford Triathlon Club staying fit in COVID-19 era

ATC members using virtual reality training, social media and solo races to keep in shape

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Portable washrooms open, campground closed to visitors as district deals with COVID-19

District also working with businesses on ‘voluntary reductions in operations and shutdowns’

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Canadian COVID-19 update: Cases spike in Quebec & Ontario; Nine O’Clock Gun salutes health workers

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 12:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

Fraser Valley sex offender charged again less than two months after prison release

Taylor Dueck, who was living in Mission, has history of sex assaults in Abbotsford

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

Weekend crowds at South Surrey parks, waterfront cause concern

RCMP and bylaw officials attended Crescent Beach Sunday, police confirm

Metro Vancouver firm gears up to make vital ventilator parts in COVID-19 fight

Langley’s Simalex Manufacturing is handling big orders as demand surges

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

Most Read