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Trudeau announces more emergency subsidy details

The Canadian Press logoThe Canadian Press 2020-03-30
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on COVID-19 situation in Canada from his residence March 29, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images) © Getty Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on COVID-19 situation in Canada from his residence March 29, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said large and small businesses, non-profits and charities will all be eligible for a 75-per-cent subsidy on wages meant to cushion the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers will have to show that their revenues have fallen by at least 30 per cent. The wages the subsidy covers will be capped at $847 a week, he said Monday.

Speaking outside his Ottawa residence, Trudeau said the size of the company will not bear on whether it qualifies for the help.

Trudeau asked companies that get the subsidy to rehire workers who might have been laid off over the last two weeks, and ensure that all the money through the program goes to employees.

Trudeau said companies that can pay their employees without federal help should do so, warning businesses that any abuse of federal financial aid will have serious consequences.

"Every dollar should go to workers," he said.

The unprecedented measures being taken to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus have severely impacted the national economy resulting in staggering job losses. 

The government has responded, so far, by rolling out a bailout package totalling more than $200 billion.

While government officials in Quebec and B.C. have said there are indications social distancing efforts may be paying off in slowing the rampant march of the virus, Canada's chief public health officer says it's still too early to make that call. 

On Sunday Dr. Theresa Tam said this week will be ``very, very important'' for her in terms of looking at those trends. But in the meantime, she again urged Canadians to continue to physically distance themselves from others.

Trudeau also said Monday that so far, the federal government has received no requests from the provinces or territories to call in the military to aid with COVID-19 response efforts.

But he said that if that were to change, the Canadian Armed Forces are ready. He said senior military officials will provide more details later today.

More coming.

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