Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a suite of financial supports are on the way to help millions of Canadians and businesses get through the COVID-19 crisis, and he isn’t ruling out an extension to the tax filing deadline.
In an interview with Toronto’s 680 News, Trudeau said the government will act fast to put money in the pockets of Canadians, including employment insurance supports and direct income supports for those who don’t qualify for employment insurance.
“We’re going to be flowing income supports to millions of Canadians. We’re going to make sure that we’re able to weather this crisis in the right way,” he said.
Trudeau will deliver remarks from his home at Rideau Cottage at 11:30 a.m. ET today, followed by a news conference. CBC News will have special coverage of that, followed by a news conference with several cabinet ministers and Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam.
According to the prime minister, other possible measures are:
- Money to businesses that will allow them to keep people on the payroll even when they are at home.
- Access to credit for businesses. Last week, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a $10 billion credit facility to lend money to businesses under stress due to the pandemic.
- Help with mortgage payments.
- Enhanced Canada Child benefits, GST credit for low-income Canadians.
“These sorts of things are all on the table in terms of tools we’re looking at to help Canadians as quickly as possible get through these times,” Trudeau said.
He did not rule postponing the April 30 tax filing deadline.
“We’re looking at all sorts of ways of helping Canadians, and this is part of what we’re looking at,” he said. “We’ll have an announcement tomorrow most likely around that.”
Earlier Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in his province, a move that will shut down most recreational facilities, libraries, bars and restaurants. Grocery stores, pharmacies and public transit will remain open.
Asked if the federal government could declare a national state of emergency, Trudeau said that so far, that has not been necessary to leverage the federal tools, resources and powers required to respond to the crisis.
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