Prime Minister Justin Trudeau updates the country on Canada’s COVID-19 response on Sunday, March 29, 2020. (CPAC)

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

There are no plans to call in Canada’s military to enforce quarantine or self-isolation measures amid COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday.

“The Canadian Armed Forces are there to help when Canada is in need,” the prime minister said (in French, through a translator) in Ottawa Sunday, during his now-daily press conference on the steps of Rideau Cottage.

“Right now we have not received any specific requests and there are no plans underway to have the army intervene.

Trudeau said Health Canada is following up with those being required to quarantine.

“It’s really important that we follow the rules. What we do today… will have a direct impact on whether or not Canada is able to make it through this crisis in the best possible way,” he said, urging Canadians to follow the measures laid out by health officials.

Trudeau himself said he will remain in isolation for two more weeks, even though his wife Sophie was recently given the all-clear from her COVID-19 diagnosis.

He says the couple took steps to remain apart, but staying at home for another two weeks is prudent because he was sharing a roof with someone who was ill. Trudeau said he will remain at Rideau Cottage while Sophie and their kids go to Harringston, a different prime ministerial residence.

The prime minister also unveiled funding for youth and seniors. He said Kids Help Phone will get $7.5 million and $9 million will go to the United Way to help seniors who may be especially isolated during this crisis.

United Way and Kids Help Phone were among a coalition of Canadian charities that asked for help last week, warning they were going to collapse as COVID-19 wreaked economic havoc on their donors and volunteers.

Much like private sector businesses, charities report having to lay off employees as grant programs are cancelled and donations dry up. The group says there are more than 1.4 million Canadians employed in the charitable sector, which accounts for eight per cent of Canada’s economic activity.

Trudeau said there will be additional help for charities announced in the coming days, but he also appealed to Canadians who are able to donate money or time.

“Not only are organizations in the charitable sector and the non-profit sector doing incredibly important work during difficult times, they’re also in many cases seeing their donations dry up and are very worried about their capacity to continue to do the work they’re doing,” he said.

The government already announced $157.5 million for homeless shelters and up to $50 million for women’s shelters as part of their massive federal aid package made public March 18, mainly to help the organizations buy protective gear for workers and find ways to keep clients isolated as necessary.

While details of the funding are expected this week, Families Minister Ahmed Hussen said Sunday $15 million in emergency funding has already gone out and is having an impact, allowing shelters to get hotel rooms for clients who need to be quarantined or isolated and to buy emergency supplies to protect frontline staff.

READ MORE: Trudeau unveils new $2,000 per month benefit to streamline COVID-19 aid

More than one million people have applied for EI due to COVID-19. The federal government is working on rolling out the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, a $2,000 per month payment for workers affected by the crisis. The application portal for that benefit is expected to be available by April 6.

During the press conference, Trudeau was asked about communities that are preparing community centres and arenas to serve as make-shift hospitals for COVID-19 patients.

“Our healthcare systems are designed to function close to capacity in normal situations…. these are not regular times,” he said.

“It is appropriate and necessary that we look at how to expand our health system to handle unprecedented numbers.”

To reach out for help through the Kids Help Phone, you can text TALK to 686868, call 1-800-668-6868 or visit http://kidshelpphone.ca to be connected with help 24/7.

READ MORE: Federal doctor says COVID-19 battle will last ‘months, many months’ as cases soar

READ MORE: Canadians with COVID-19 symptoms to be denied boarding domestic flights, trains

– With files from The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

Small fire extinguished at Thornhill community grounds

Camper destroyed and some trees burned

Tradition and technology: Nisga’a Elementary Secondary’s plan for grad

NESS joins other schools in northwest B.C. using video and streaming

What happens to a community garden during a pandemic?

Green Thumb Garden Society has made some changes, hopes for more volunteers and members

Firefighter drops eggs 65 ft. for kids’ science project

Elementary students attempt to determine ideal packaging to cushion eggs

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

DFO allowing at-sea observers again if safe work procedures in place

May 15 fishery notice lays out conditions for allowing at-sea observers onboard amid COVID-19

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

Most Read