Finance Minister Bill Morneau. (The Canadian Press)

Finance Minister Bill Morneau. (The Canadian Press)

Morneau says Ottawa will announce support for those quarantined due to COVID-19

‘Our government is planning for every contingency,’ Finance Minister Bill Morneau says

The federal government is preparing to undertake measures designed to protect Canadians and the country’s economy from the outbreak of a novel form of coronavirus.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Friday that the federal government will soon announce support for Canadians who are quarantined to prevent the spread of the virus known as COVID-19.

He also said the government will increase its risk adjustment provision in its forthcoming budget to ensure that it is ready and able to respond to COVID-19, which has caused dramatic drops in the stock market and has sickened dozens of Canadians and hundreds of thousands more globally.

“It’s important to keep in mind that what this will mean for the Canadian economy ultimately depends on the depth and geographical spread of the virus and these things cannot be known, until they are known,” he said in a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto.

“Our government is planning for every contingency.”

READ MORE: Eight new B.C. coronavirus cases, one with no travel link

Morneau said he has already seen the virus having an impact on commodity prices, travel and global supply chains as well as consumer and business sentiment.

He said the government will continue to monitor the impact on businesses and workers and promises that the government has the tools to respond swiftly.

“Although things are changing quickly, it’s clear that the COVID-19 outbreak is going to impact the real economy, and markets,” he said.

Morneau said he has been in touch with his international counterparts to decide how to address the outbreak.

At a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors, he said he talked about the need to enhance global risk monitoring and on Tuesday he discussed with his G7 counterparts “the potential for greater collaboration and co-ordination.”

The Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate target by half a percentage point on Wednesday in hopes of helping the country’s economy cope with the impact of COVID-19. The move followed a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut its key interest rate by the same amount on Tuesday.

Morneau also used his speech to address blockades in February that resulted in cancelled train service and temporary rail worker layoffs as demonstrators across the country fought the Coastal GasLink pipeline due to come to B.C.

Demonstrators blocked rail lines in B.C., Ontario and Quebec for weeks as critics called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step in and stop the protesting with immediate police force. Trudeau instead opted to allow his ministers to engage in discussions with demonstrators to resolve their concerns.

“From the very beginning, we knew that we could not cut corners and that dialogue, no matter how difficult, was the path we had to follow,” Morneau said.

“While many were critical, our approach has delivered results.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Students from Cedar Hill Middle School play and hold a sign to protest proposed music cuts to school band programs in the Greater Victoria School District, during a Monday event. The district is facing a massive deficit and is considering a number of options for cutting costs. (Photo courtesy Laura Alcaraz-Sehn)
Massive student demonstration planned to protest Greater Victoria school band cuts

Band students from 14 SD61 schools will be at major intersections Thursday after school

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 exposure at Pacific Christian Elementary School on April 12. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Saanich elementary school

Pacific Christian Elementary School experienced exposure on April 12

A man accused of choking a 15-year-old in his tent in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night has been arrested by Victoria police. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man accused of choking, sexually exploiting 15-year-old in Victoria tent arrested

Police arrested the 38-year-old in Beacon Hill Park Wednesday afternoon

Reuben Forsland in his East Sooke studio with the guitar he crafted from hemp wood that he hopes will start a conversation about sustainability. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
East Sooke artisan strikes a chord with custom guitars

Guitars include wood from Hendrix childhood home in Seattle

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation is hosting a virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads University on April 25. (Black Press Media file)
Cedar trees weave deeply into lives of coastal First Nations communities

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation hosts virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

Most Read