Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Monday April 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Two planes from China forced to arrive in Canada empty of supplies: PM

Trudeau said there are limits to how long an aircraft is allowed to wait on the ground in China

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says two planes from China were forced to return empty to Canada on Monday, without the protective medical equipment that they were sent there to pick up.

One of the planes was a federal charter and the other was destined for a particular province, Trudeau said Tuesday.

Trudeau said there are limits to how long an aircraft is allowed to wait on the ground in China.

“Supply lines and truck shipments to the airports are difficult and interrupted by checkpoints and quarantine measures. For the most part, we’ve been able to navigate through those and ensure that Canada has received the equipment that it needs,” the prime minister said Tuesday during his daily briefing outside his Ottawa residence.

“But these two airplanes were forced to take off empty.”

He said millions of pieces of personal protective equipment, or PPE, have entered Canada in recent days, and more is expected.

He said Canadian factories continue to “tool up” so they can manufacture what is needed at home.

“It’s always a challenge to get the PPE into Canada at a time where the global market is very, very competitive,” he said

Trudeau also unveiled more financial support for vulnerable Canadians struggling to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Feds unveil $350M fund to help charities, non-profits get through pandemic

READ MORE: Businesses can apply for wage subsidy April 27, calculate payments on new website

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press


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