‘We’re working to help every Canadian’: Minister of Middle Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier explains she is working with all levels of government amid COVID-19

Protecting every Canadian’s health and safety is of utmost importance during the COVID-19 crisis, according to Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Finance Minister Mona Fortier. That’s why her ministry has been working with all levels of government to better understand what citizens need during this time.

Fortier said the ministry has been busy having conversations with municipalities across the country to understand the situation for citizens and to come up with a plan to help those cities.

She said she continues to have conversations with Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

“(The conversations are) to understand the reality across the nation because we know that in B.C., it might be different than in Ontario, so we want to make sure we understand the reality and how we can leave nobody behind,” she said.

“We’re working together to consider and understand those concerns. Mayor Basran shared with me that businesses (in Kelowna) needed help, so we pressed to see if we can do better… and we announced the 75 per cent wage subsidy. So, it’s really by working together that we can best identify the measures we can bring forward.”

READ MORE: Canada’s 75 per cent wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

She said this includes working on a simple way to get money to the people and businesses who need it.

“Our idea is that if they can keep their employees and when we get to the recovery period, it’ll be much easier to re-start, even though there may be some challenges. The idea is to keep people in their jobs,” Fortier said. She added that measures to ensure no one is taking advantage of the system will be announced when it’s finalized.

In regards to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the government’s plan to increase the Canada Child Benefit up to $300 for every child in May, she said the point is to give Canadians as much help as possible to be able to pay for their essentials and to help tide them over.

She explained it’s still too early to think about recovery, but did want to reassure Canadians the measures put in place are to ensure recovery is possible and that every citizen will be able to keep up.

READ MORE: Minister kicks off quality of life tour in Kelowna

READ MORE: ‘We need to do more,’: Minister on middle-class squeeze in Vernon


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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