Prime minister promises more pandemic aid to come from Ottawa

Trudeau warned the reopening of the economy will happen ‘very, very gradually’

TORONTO — Justin Trudeau says there will be more support from the federal government to help certain sectors of the economy reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prime minister made the promise yesterday, without getting into specifics, as he announced an extension to Ottawa’s emergency wage-subsidy program beyond its early-June endpoint. He said he’d have more to say about that next week.

The pledges followed the unsettling news that nearly two million jobs were lost in April, adding to the one million lost in March, pushing Canada’s unemployment rate to a staggering 13 per cent.

Some new signs of both economic and social life appeared in many parts of the country this week as various provinces took more tentative steps to loosen lockdown restrictions.

But Trudeau warned the reopening of the economy and the lifting of restrictions will happen “very, very gradually” and transmission of the disease will have to be carefully monitored.

Though the COVID-19 curve has been flattening in many regions, the disease continues to take a terrible toll, especially in the epicentres of Quebec and Ontario.

Another 161 deaths were reported yesterday, raising the country’s total to 4,569. And the number of new coronavirus cases rose by 1,512 to 66,434.

Meanwhile, the federal government revealed Friday that it suspended shipments of N95 respirators from a Montreal-based supplier after about eight million of the masks made in China failed to meet specifications.

The office of Procurement Minister Anita Anand said that of the nearly 11 million masks received from the distributor, about one million met federal standards and another 1.6 million are still being tested.

The Public Health Agency of Canada noted that while Canada gets a lot of protective equipment from international manufacturers, domestic manufacturers also provide gowns, face shields and hand sanitizer, among other products.

This includes an agreement with Medicom, based in Pointe-Claire, Que., for production of 20 million N95 respirator masks and 24 million surgical masks per year for the next 10 years, starting this summer.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta reports just seven new COVID-19 cases

‘Today’s numbers mark an occasion to be celebrated’

Sylvan Lake RCMP continue to search for missing man

43-year-old Steven Michael Hull is still missing and Sylvan Lake RCMP are seeking public assistance

Lacombe County Reopens Sandy Point Beach for the season

Signage is posted at the beach outlining public health orders

Still no confirmed active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer, central zone

There are 15 new confirmed cases were in Alberta, the province said Thursday

Sylvan Lake baseball stadium on track for 2021 season

The Sylvan Lake Gulls announced plans for the stadium and the team continue to move ahead as planned

A letter from the publisher

Eckville Echo’s Publisher, Barb Pettie, addresses the readers of the paper in a letter

Montreal man believes rough arrest caught on video was racially motivated

Montreal man believes rough arrest caught on video was racially motivated

N.B. police shooting of Indigenous woman leads to questions on ‘wellness checks’

N.B. police shooting of Indigenous woman leads to questions on ‘wellness checks’

Minister says reckoning on police violence against Indigenous people needed

Minister says reckoning on police violence against Indigenous people needed

Nunavut to bring in civilian police review after arrest video: minister

Nunavut to bring in civilian police review after arrest video: minister

Trudeau takes a knee at anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill

Trudeau takes a knee at anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill

Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara faces assault, break and enter, harassment charges

Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara faces assault, break and enter, harassment charges

Black Canadians say racism here is just as harmful as in the United States

Black Canadians say racism here is just as harmful as in the United States

Implementation of Divorce Act reforms delayed eight months by pandemic

Implementation of Divorce Act reforms delayed eight months by pandemic

Most Read