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

‘We either make a difference or we don’t’: Revelstoke teen leads protest in support of BLM

Revelstoke joined cities across the world protesting against racism and police brutality

Community engagement session for Downie St. BC Housing project coming June 10

Revelstoke residents are asked to pre-register for the webinar

Revelstoke, North Okanagan RCMP team up to nab Alberta man, stolen BMW

Helicopter, dogs used in North Okanagan highway arrest

City wants feedback on reopening of community centre

What programs would you sign up for? Would you go to the pool?

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Police seek help identifying person of interest in Salmon Arm arson investigation

A fire in a garage was extinguished but it is being treated as an arson.

Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

Two hikers rescued in early morning search near Greyback Lake latest in series of searches

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

In photos: Modified, yet traditional graduation gives Penticton graduates a sense of normalcy

Students around Penticton take part in pre-recorded graduation ceremonies

Filming to resume safely later in June: Okanagan Film Commission

Film commissioner Jon Summerland said they want to start filming again later in June

Kelowna RCMP investigate woman’s sudden death

Criminality is not suspected at this time, according to RCMP

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Most Read