World, Americas

Canada rolls out aid funds for farmers, food producers

Trudeau gives stern warning to stay home in self-isolation

Barry Ellsworth   | 23.03.2020
Canada rolls out aid funds for farmers, food producers


Canada’s suspended parliament will meet Tuesday to pass emergency measures to battle COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

Trudeau also announced a CAN$5 billion aid fund for farmers and producers to keep the supply chain intact so there is no shortage of food.

And, the government will create CAN$192 million fund for research on a vaccine to combat the coronavirus but he said the vaccine will take months to test and produce.

Trudeau, who is still in self isolation because his wife tested positive for the virus, held daily press conferences at a podium outside his house while reporters keep well back.

On Monday, his tone was more stern than previous press conferences, telling Canadians they must stay home except for essentials such as going to work or purchasing needed food and medicine. He said too many are ignoring that health directive and still gathering in crowds.

“Staying home is your way to serve,” Trudeau said. “If you choose to ignore that advice…you are putting others at risk, too.”

He said too many Canadians think they are invincible.

“Well, you are not,” Trudeau said. “Go home and stay home.”

Planes are being dispatched to pick up Canadians abroad, he said. Two more were heading to Morocco Monday – there was a flight there on the weekend – and three planes will leave for Peru. Others will go to Spain and Honduras.

Canada became the first country to pull out of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics, announcing the decision late Sunday evening.

Trudeau called it “the right call.”

The Conference Board of Canada predicts the coronavirus will cost more than 330,000 jobs if the danger continues for several more months.

As of Monday, there were 1,550 cases of COVID-19 and 21 deaths in Canada.

Trudeau has so far resisted the call to institute the Emergencies Act and the Quarantine Act, which would give powers to the police and courts and usher in fines and even jail terms for people who ignore the stay-at-home advice.

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