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

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

Land once belonged to Grand Chief Nicola

Summerland was once known as Nicola Prairie

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Okanagan nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake near Vernon was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

Most Read