Canada’s Trudeau: world has changed even if pandemic ends, vaccine found

Published May 14, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Reuters

OTTAWA – Canadians should accept the world will change even if a vaccine is found and the coronavirus pandemic ends, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday, urging people to adjust to a new normal that will require modified behavior.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waits for a meeting of the special committee on the COVID-19 pandemic to begin, as efforts continue to help slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada May 13, 2020. (REUTERS/Blair Gable/MANILA BULLETIN)
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waits for a meeting of the special committee on the COVID-19 pandemic to begin, as efforts continue to help slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada May 13, 2020. (REUTERS/Blair Gable/MANILA BULLETIN)

Trudeau unveiled new measures to support hard hit sectors, including C$470 million for fisheries, and the partial reopening of some national parks with limited access to some vulnerable northern communities.

“We have to recognize that things will change in this world, even after the end of this pandemic, even after a vaccine,” Trudeau told reporters. “COVID-19 will be one of the things that create changes in our society. There will be adjustments.”

World Health Organization emergencies expert Mike Ryan said on Wednesday that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could become endemic like HIV and “may never go away”.

More Canadian provinces are lifting restrictions and moving to restart more economic activity, while the warmer weather is spurring more people outdoors.

“We know that this will not be a summer like another in the past,” Trudeau said, noting it was impossible to prevent people from going outside but that governments had to “help them do it safely.”

Canada’s coronavirus cases rose to 72,536 on Thursday, from 71,486 a day before, with 5,337 deaths, up from 5,209, according to public health agency data.

Besides support for fisheries, Ottawa will also extend the federal wage subsidy program to encourage more employers to keep workers on the payroll. Upcoming changes to employment insurance rules will also allow more fishery and agribusiness workers to apply for benefits.

Canadian farmers and agriculture businesses have claimed most of the C$5 billion ($3.55 billion) in extra credit offered by Ottawa to boost their cash flow during the coronavirus pandemic, in less than two months, the federal agriculture ministry said in a release on Thursday.

In an annual review of Canada’s financial systems, the Bank of Canada said that while the coronavirus remains a massive economic and financial challenge, measures it has taken “are showing signs of succeeding.”

Canadian manufacturing sales in March slumped by the most in over 11 years as the pandemic forced the shutdown of many firms, and April looks set to be worse, Statistics Canada data indicated on Thursday.

 
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