Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is deferring tax payments until August, providing a wage subsidy for small business and pausing student loan payments amid the pandemic.
Trudeau says government is focused on making sure Canadians have the money they need to support their families, buy groceries and pay the rent. Up to $82 billion Canadian ($56.4 billion) is being spent. The money is about 3% of Canada's gross domestic product.
Trudeau says he will provide employers of small businesses with a temporary wage subsidy equal to 10% of salary paid to employees, for three months. He says this will encourage employers to keep staff on the payroll.
Trudeau made the announcement outside his residence where he is self isolating after his wife tested positive for coronavirus. He says she is OK but experiencing flu-like symptoms and headaches. The prime minister says he and his three kids are not showing symptoms.
As of Wednesday, Canada has 569 known cases of the novel coronavirus, or about 1.5 per 100,000.