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

Autism Awareness Day highlights challenges amid COVID-19

AutismBC regional coordinator in Kelowna discusses living with autism amid a pandemic

UPDATE: Good Samaritan delivers stolen sentimental mail

Some items stolen from boxes in the BX area were returned to the rightful owner

WATCH: Armstrong retirement community adapts amid COVID-19

Heaton Place rethinks programming to ensure residents stay safe, healthy and entertained

BREAKING: Inmate at Okanagan Correctional Centre tests positive for COVID-19

This is B.C.’s first community outbreak at a corrections facility

Answer your phone, Vernon school district says

No caller ID or unknown callers could be your child’s teacher reaching out

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

‘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

Two planes come into close contact above Kelowna

The incident occurred between a WestJet flight and a private plane back in 2019

Most Read