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Canadian PM to call Parliament over COVID-19 economic palliative measures

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that he’s planning to call Parliament back for another sitting to pass more measures to help the Canadian economy through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stating that the government cannot guarantee anything amid the national COVID-19 outbreak, Prime Minister Trudeau said however that federal officials are working to procure enough medical equipment and supplies.

He says future numbers of the virus are predicated on Canadians’ actions today.

Explaining that “Canada hasn’t seen this kind of civic mobilization since the Second World War,” Trudeau said that the measures enacted are to help Canadians stay home so that coronavirus cases will flatten and decline.

The Prime Minister reiterated the details about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy — the proposal where the government will cover 75 per cent of private businesses’ wages. He warns, again, businesses should not attempt to take advantage of the stipend and that the enterprises must try to cover the remaining 25 per cent of their workers’ wages.

Meanwhile, as COVID-19 festers across Canada, Montreal has become a breeding ground for the virus.

Nationally, there are 8,505 confirmed cases as of Tuesday evening and in Montreal, there are 1,991 cases. That means Montrealers make up 23 per cent, or a little more than one in five coronavirus cases in the country.

Ontario is reporting 426 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, the largest number so far, including four new deaths.

According to the Canadian Press, this figure represents nearly 22 per cent increase and brings the provincial total to 2,392. That includes 37 deaths and 689 cases that have been resolved.

And in a move to stop further spread of the virus, the Quebec government is putting new restrictions in place to limit movement in the province, including between Ottawa and neighbouring Gatineau. 

Reports said that over the last few days, the government has set up random police checks across the province, aiming to limit travel to essential services and needs.

Since Saturday, the government has put in place police officers manning checkpoints at several locations in Quebec in an aim to limit non-essential travel. The Outaouais, the region surrounding Gatineau, was added to the list on Monday along with four other parts of the province.  

Eight other regions of the province faced these restrictions and checkpoints earlier this week. 

According to the government press release, the Sûreté du Québec is working with the Gatineau Police Service and other police agencies to establish the checkpoints. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is expected to speak about the closures later today.

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