Trudeau to recall Parliament, confirms Covid-19 relief benefits begin April 6th

Applications for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, which will provide about $2,000 a month to people out of work, will begin on April 6th, as promised. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the news Wednesday. “Those who have already applied for Employment Insurance will not need to fill out a separate application to receive the benefit. Recipients will have to attest once a month that they’re still not receiving a paycheque. Once Canadians apply for the emergency response benefit through CRA, it will take 3-5 days for direct deposits to roll into accounts, and 10 days for cheques. Before the government was only saying 10 days.

So far, 2.1 million EI requests have been made over the past two weeks. 30,000 requests have been processed so far. The government says they will be able to process 400,000 request a day going forward.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the federal government has spent $105B in direct spending to help Canadians – that doesn’t include tax deferrals worth $85B, government backed loans up to $25B and $40B in liquidity.

Trudeau wants to bring back Parliament

Seeing as the original economic package approved by parliament was $107B, Prime Minister Trudeau asked the house leader to reach out to the opposition about bringing back parliament. “These are the biggest economic measures in our lifetime,” said Trudeau. Parliament would be recalled to pass new legislation to allow for enhanced COVID-19 emergency aid measures.

Disobeying the COVID-19 emergency law could cost you $100,000 and one year in jail
Disobeying the COVID-19 emergency law could cost you $100,000 and one year in jail

How long will restrictions be in place?

Trudeau was asked how long Canadians can expect these restrictions to be in place after the National Post obtained federal documents suggesting we can expect to continue under these measures until at least July.

Those document said: Current GoC [Government Operations Centre] modelling suggests as a best case scenario that current measures continue until at least July National Post

Trudeau was asked about that report by three reporters. He repeated that there are several different scenarios, “it could last a few weeks or a few months, it’s up to how well Canadians follow the rules. “We will do everything we can to keep Canadians safe,” added Trudeau.

“People need to fulfill their collective responsibility to each other. Staying home is your way to serve. If you do not respect the directive of health officials, you’re endangering others. It’s in our hands. It’s in your hands,” said the Prime Minister.

Do we have enough equipment?

Trudeau was asked about the Federal government’s transparency of the equipment we have in reserve and if he can guarantee we won’t run out? Trudeau says right now the government can’t guarantee anything. He says they are looking overseas and in Canada to meet equipment needs.

Related: Help is on the way to protect workers on the front lines in the fight against Covid-19

“We are expecting to see shipments in coming days and we are working to ramp up production here – doing everything we can to meet pressing needs because we need health care workers to have what they need to keep us safe,” said Trudeau.

Asked about the stockpile of Canadian supplies, Health Minister Patty Hajdu says

On top of the 60,000 masks announced Tuesday, Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, said the federal government ordered 5,000 more masks on Wednesday.