Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will provide a coronavirus update on March 30, 2020. (CPAC)

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to hold press conference

OTTAWA — Businesses and employees across Canada reeling from the COVID-19 crisis are expected to hear more about Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program today.

When the federal government announced on Friday that it was boosting the subsidy to 75 per cent from the original 10 per cent, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he hoped the details would be hammered out by Monday.

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. However, in a letter to the prime minister on Sunday NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh urged further action to ensure that people who have lost their jobs don’t also lose their homes when rent and mortgage payments come due on Apr. 1.

Meanwhile, the federal government’s new restrictions on domestic air and inter-city passenger rail traffic go into effect at noon today. Staff at the airlines and railways will be tasked with screening passengers and barring those exhibiting any symptoms of the novel coronavirus from boarding.

Another 665 COVID-19 cases were reported in Canada Sunday, pushing the national total to 6,320, including 66 deaths and 485 cases resolved.

And 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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2020.

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