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Trudeau: most businesses can get wage subsidy

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily press conference on COVID-19 in front of his residence at Rideau Cottage on the grounds of Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Saturday

Canada now has 7,727 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, with 92 deaths, as of 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

On Friday British Columbia said its early modelling was suggesting social distancing had cut the spread of the novel coronavirus in half. On Sunday Dr. Theresa Tam said this week will be "very, very important" for her in terms of looking at those trends.

Trudeau also warned Canadian businesses to avoid attempts to "game" the system, saying that there are "serious consequences" for those who do, without elaborating.

Huddle interviewed some of those business owners after that subsidy was announced, and like many others across the country, they said it wasn't high enough to make a difference.

Starting this year, the government will be earmarking $1.5 billion over two years to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support purchasing these supplies and diagnostic equipment with an additional $500 million coming in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Additionally, the government will be allocating $9 million to help seniors with things like health check-ups and grocery deliveries through the New Horizons program. We put our hands and ask: "'How can I help?'"

Much like private sector businesses, charities report having to lay off employees as grant programs are cancelled and donations dry up.

"As is the case with many sectors, mining has been heavily impacted by Covid-19, with multiple companies reducing or suspending operations at mines, smelters and refineries across Canada, resulting in tens of thousands of lay-offs of direct and indirect employees", said MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton.

As a result, the 75-per-cent subsidy meant to prevent layoffs and keep struggling businesses afloat will be open to companies small and big, as well as for non-profit organizations and charities.

This includes facilities located in Indigenous communities, said the release, and will be used to help their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak.

Trudeau says in order for our economy to recover from COVID-19, people need to keep working.

Trudeau also announced the military was ready to be called up should provinces request the support.

Trudeau cautioned businesses not to take advantage of the benefit and to pay their workers if at all possible.

Neither he nor their children, Xavier, 12, Ella-Grace, 11, and Hadrien, 6, have shown symptoms of the illness.

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