Coronavirus Global Response
The Prime Minister announced that Canada and international partners have launched the “Coronavirus Global Response” dedicated to raise more than $8 billion to help researchers and innovators develop solutions to test, treat and protect people against COVID-19.
The PM highlighted that Canada’s contribution of $850 million toward the initiative includes investments to support both Canadian and international research targets including implementation of vaccination through The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative and Vaccine development through World Health Organization’s solidarity trials. “The more we cooperate, the more likely we’ll find a cure,” Trudeau said.
Currently, more than 100 research groups are pursuing vaccines with nearly a dozen in early stages of human trials or poised to start trails soon.
$240 million for online health care
Trudeau announced $240.5 million for online health care, including new virtual platforms for mental health and primary care. The new platforms will help Canadians safely engage with their regular health providers and specialist health services through telephone, text, or video-conferencing.
This investment will also support Wellness Together Canada, an online portal providing free resources, tools, and professional support services “to help with wellness and resilience, as well as mental health and substance use.”
Additional funding for promising research
The Prime Minister announced a $175 million investment in the Canadian biotech company AbCellera to help continue promising COVID-19 research. Trudeau noted that the company has already identified antibodies that could be used to help develop medicines to treat the virus.
Trudeau announced that Procurement Minister Anita Anand will lead the new COVID-19 Supply Council, with the mandate of “finding innovative solutions to ensure our country continues to have the vital supplies necessary to keep Canadians safe.”
Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
The Prime Minister noted that families receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will get $300 extra per child in May to help them cope with COVID-19. This increase will deliver $2 billion in extra support across the country.
Federal Deficit Grows
Yesterday the Parliamentary Budget Officer released revised estimates of the impact that COVID-19 will have on Canada’s economy. For 2020, real GDP growth in Canada is projected to shrink by 12 per cent, the weakest on record since the government began tracking in 1961. According to the PBO, the previous weakest growth in real GDP on record, a decline of 3.2 per cent, was observed during the 1982 recession.
Deficit projections for 2019-20 and 2020-21 have increased to $24.9 billion and $252.1 billion, respectively. Relative to the size of the Canadian economy, the deficit will be a record high of 12.7 per cent of total GDP in 2020-21.
Alberta is starting to re-open with four phases. There is more information below, thanks to our MLA Copping for this info.
Re-Opening Alberta, Phases:
- Resumption on non-essential surgeries by AHS.
- Dental and other non-critical health services may resume.
- Golf courses may open (but club houses and pro-shops must remain closed).
Phase 1 Highlights:
- Albertans can go to the hair salons and barbershops.
- Campsites may begin to be booked for June 1.
- Restaurants, bars and patios may open to 50% capacity (must maintain physical distancing).
- Retail business can open again, as well as museums and art galleries.
- Day cares, summer camps and out of school care may resume (strict limits on social distancing must be enforced).
Phase 2 Highlights:
- Theaters and movie theaters may reopen.
- Resumption of more surgeries by AHS.
- Resumption of personal services (massage, manicures, waxing).
Stage 3 highlights:
- Pools, gyms, rec centers and arenas may re-open (some restrictions).
- Fully reopening all business and services.
- Arts and culture festivals, sporting and concerts will be permitted.
- Lifting of restrictions on non-essential travel.
For more information you can find the full news click here.
COVID-19 has impacted many Albertans and our businesses. Our government implemented measures to support Albertans which has including rental assistance, student loan repayment deferrals, utility payment deferrals, supports for charitable and non-profit groups and protections for employees who need to work from home or take a leave of absence. We also continue to work with the federal government on further supports for Albertans.
For more information on Alberta government supports go click here.
For more information on Federal government supports go click here.
A message from the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary has launched the following website, https://www.ucalgary.ca/community/covid-19-support to share useful information and virtually support our community. This COVID-19 Community Support page includes information from UCalgary experts presented in a variety of ways to meet diverse needs including written stories, webinars, and COVIDcast – a new podcast series that takes a deep dive into a variety of topics related to COVID-19 – to help our community understand the global pandemic, explore the latest research, and provide advice for navigating health and wellness, home and family, business and economy, and community life during this unprecedented and challenging time.
Mental health and addictions support
Addiction Helpline at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/findhealth/Service.aspx?id=1008399&serviceAtFacilityID=1047128
Mental Health Helpline at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/findhealth/Service.aspx?id=6810&serviceAtFacilityID=1047134
Kids Help Phone at https://kidshelpphone.ca/get-involved/contact-us
Community and Social Services Helpline at Alberta 211 https://www.ab.211.ca/
Mountain Parks and Campgorunds Open Up
With parks opening up, the trails are open to vehicle access, but the town of Banff is still closed to visitors. Please also do not visit the town of Canmore.
City of Calgary
The City of Calgary is projecting a potential revenue gap ranging from $145M to $235M due to COVID-19.