Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Monday March 9, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Freeland asks provinces, territories for COVID-19 readiness plans amid 78 virus cases

The letter came as Canada reported its first death on Monday from COVID-19

The federal government is asking the provinces and territories for their plans to deal with COVID-19 ahead of a meeting on Friday between the premiers and the prime minister.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote the provinces and territories asking them to inform the federal government of their state of readiness and any shortages they’re facing ahead of the first ministers meeting in Ottawa.

The letter came as Canada reported its first death on Monday from COVID-19.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s provincial health officer, says the man died at the Lynn Valley Care Centre on Sunday night, and his symptoms were detected between Thursday and early Friday.

She says the man was in his 80s with a number of underlying health conditions.

VIDEO: B.C. records first COVID-19 death in Canada as province hits 32 cases

Friday’s first ministers meeting will include discussions on the potential impact of the spreading virus on the country’s health-care system and its economy.

In her letter, Freeland says the federal government is already leading a bulk procurement of personal protective equipment.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the Canadian economy can weather the economic impacts of the novel coronavirus.

The country’s finances are healthy enough to help individuals and businesses deal with the fallout, Morneau says, without providing details of any plans or when the federal budget will be released.

He also would not reveal whether he expects the deficit to be bigger than previously projected, given the sharp decline in oil prices and the hit to financial markets on Monday, saying only that Ottawa is in a position to respond to challenges like COVID-19, and the budget is only part of the response.

The government is being urged to ease access to federal sick leave benefits, along with tax credits and other breaks, to help workers who can’t afford to stay home when sick, as well as to help small businesses that might not have the cash flow to manage the effects of the outbreak.

Canada has at least 78 cases of the respiratory illness: 32 in British Columbia, 35 in Ontario, seven in Alberta and four in Quebec.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirusfederal government

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

Just Posted

Nanaimo bylaw officers on the lookout for COVID-19 control infractions

Bylaw and health officers watch for health order infractions, citizens can call in complaints

Nanaimo arenacross racer wins double championship

Sebastian Sulyok takes first overall on Futures West 85cc series

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

Nanaimo barbershop quartet records musical tribute to Dr. Bonnie Henry

Ode to provincial health officer is to the tune of a singing valentine

Nanaimo school district uses contingency fund for emergency school repairs

Nanaimo district staff expect about $2.7 million as its annual facilities grant from the province

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

Nanaimo will be the community hardest-hit by ferry layoffs, union says

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union looking at its legal options

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Most Read