Covid-19 Update – March 23, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all public health officials and front-line health care staff working around the clock to keep us all healthy and safe,” said MP Arnold Viersen. “Their daily dedication and sacrifices are heroic.”
“I know people are concerned for their health and the health of their loved ones. Things are changing every hour and it can be stressful, especially for the elderly. Please continue to reach out and check on your neighbours. Together we will pull through this.”
“A small number of Conservative MPs will return to Ottawa on March 24 when Parliament reconvenes for the day to review the government’s emergency financial legislation. I and many of my colleagues who live across the country, will be reviewing the legislation from our constituency and communicating with our colleagues in Ottawa.
“Over the past week, I have heard from employers in the riding who are being forced to lay off workers and have no idea how or if they will survive. Conservatives are worried the federal government’s response to date is falling short of meeting the needs of employers and workers.
“On Tuesday, we will be looking to see if the government will increase support for small businesses and workers and we have asked the government to significantly increase the wage subsidy to protect workers, refund all GST remittances to the small businesses that collected them in at least the last six months, and backstop banks that extend low interest loans to small businesses.”
- Total Canadian cases: 2035.
- NEW – On Tuesday, Parliament will be recalled for a one-day sitting with 32 MPs to debate and fast-track the government’s emergency legislation to the Senate by the end of the day.
- NEW – Following the letter from Conservatives to Liberal Ministers seeking clarity on the Temporary Foreign Worker and Seasonal Agriculture Worker Programs, the government announced an exemption for the both programs with the following aspects:
- Individuals entering Canada under these two programs must isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada.
- A temporary modification to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process for agriculture and food processing employers, waving the 2-week recruitment period for the next 6 months.
- The maximum allowable employment duration for workers in the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is increased from 1 to 2 years.
- NEW – Support for farmers
- Farm Credit Canada will receive support from the federal government that will allow for an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.
- All eligible farmers who have an outstanding Advance Payments Program (APP) loan due on or before April 30 will receive a Stay of Default, allowing them an additional six months to repay the loan.
All national updates can be found at: www.Canada.ca/coronavirus
- Total cases in Alberta: 259, including 33 new cases of COVID-19.
- 18 cases are in the North zone.
- Over 27,000 Albertans have been tested for COVID-19.
- NEW – Alberta working with licenced childcare providers to open up to 15,000 spaces to ensure care is available for those providing services needed during the COVID-10 pandemic.
- NEW – Town of Westlock declares state of emergency
- NEW – Two cases of COVID-19 identified within Barrhead area
All Alberta updates can be found at: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx