Feds ‘considering’ ways to reunite families separated by COVID-19 border closures

It would possibly allow for family reunification

The federal government is considering changes to border restrictions with the U.S. to allow for family reunification when parents, spouses, and children have different citizenship.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the topic was discussed during a call with the Premiers on Thursday. “Some Premiers, for reasons of compassion, think it’s a good idea, others are still concerned.”

Premier Ford says he’s in agreement with the Prime Minister and that screening will have to be ramped up at the border, “no one gets through without screening.”

Canadian cruise ship season halted until end of October

Meanwhile, Ottawa has extended its ban on large cruise ships in Canadian waters until the end of October.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau says passenger ships with overnight accommodations for more than 100 people can’t operate in Canadian waters until at least Oct. 31.

During his daily briefing Friday from Rideau Cottage, Trudeau said with the right plan and with the right investments “we will weather this storm together.”

“It’s a fine balance to make sure Canadian consumers are treated fairly and airlines don’t face further financial devastation,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau pressed on airline refunds

The Prime Minister was asked about Canadian airlines and travellers getting full refunds or vouchers for future travel should be given by airlines.

Vouchers are standard fare for Canadian consumers who bought non-refundable tickets.

The European Commission confirmed passengers have the right to full refunds within seven days, but some countries are pushing for vouchers so cash-strapped airlines can survive post-pandemic.

Trudeau said it’s a fine balance to make sure Canadian consumers are treated fairly and airlines don’t face further financial devastation and he wants to make sure there is an airline industry after this pandemic.

Premiers discuss paid sick days

The Prime Minister says he discussed the idea that each Canadian be given 10 days a year of mandatory sick pay during the first ministers meeting that took place yesterday.

There were differing opinions from across the board regarding sick days. Trudeau says some premiers are worried about costs.

“We have to avoid any situation where Canadians have to decide between their health and going to work,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau calls on Canadians to reject racism as protests erupt in the U.S.

Anti-Black racism is a reality in Canada as well, said the Prime Minister as he spoke about the current protests in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd.

Trudeau called on Canadians to “stand together in solidarity” against anti-Black, anti-Asian racism, or any other type of racial hate.

$650M in COVID-19 aid bound for Indigenous communities

The federal government announced Friday it is spending another $650 million to help Indigenous communities cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says $285 million of that is new funding to support rapid public health responses.

Miller says the money is in addition to $305 million previously promised to help First Nations reserves, and Inuit and Metis communities.

Miller also announced an increase in funding to the on-reserve income assistance program of $270 million. “This is to ensure the vulnerable families who rely on this program don’t have to choose between food and rent during the crisis,” Miller said.