David McGuinty
Hon. David McGuinty
Member of Parliament for Ottawa South
Canada's response to COVID-19
March 20, 2020

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, our government will keep taking necessary actions to prevent the spread, protect our economy, and support Canadians every step of the way. Over the past few weeks, we have been announcing a progressive series of measures responding to current challenges Canadians are facing, and preventing the escalation of economic and health-related problems for the coming days, weeks and months.

Supporting Canadians’ Health 

Our government has undertaken significant communications and public education efforts on COVID-19 to inform Canadians of our measures, in order to help them make informed decisions and to enable them to take action to protect their health and their communities. Canadians have access to information, updated daily, through:

Economic and financial support

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

We understand that many Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs are anxious about how to get help in these trying times. Here are a few good places to start:

  1. Visit our government’s website where all the resources you may be looking for are only one click away.
  2. Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address specific needs of SMEs and questions about COVID-19.
  3. Consult the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help businesses prepare in the days and weeks to come.
  4. Contact your financial institution. Canada’s banks have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate way. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institutions.

Helping Canadians abroad 

To help Canadians abroad return home, our government is creating a special financial assistance program, the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad. With this program, Canadian abroad who are directly impacted by COVID-19 will have the option of applying for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help secure their timely return to Canada, as well as temporarily cover their life-sustaining needs while they work toward their return.

We encourage all Canadians abroad to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to get the latest updates on the situation at their destination.

Eligible Canadians currently outside Canada who need financial assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada at [email protected].

For Your Awareness: Travel Advisories

Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Our government will be denying entry to non-Canadians citizens and permanent residents. This will carve out some designated exceptions including for aircrews, diplomats, immediate family members of Canadian citizens.

Our government has also issued a pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice with travel health advice for Canadians.  

All travellers entering Canada are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry with exceptions for workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people. The continued global movement of goods and people and the ongoing delivery of essential services will be important for Canada’s response to COVID-19.

Updates: Province of Ontario and City of Ottawa

These are extraordinary times, and as this situation continues to evolve, one thing remains clear: it’s all hands on deck.

The Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa are also implementing different measures and sharing guidelines to make sure that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

For more information on the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health’s measures and recommendations, please visit their website with the latest on the current situation across the city.

The Province of Ontario has enacted a declaration of a state of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public. For more information on this and on the Province of Ontario’s latest measures, please visit their website with the latest on the current situation across the province.

If you are experiencing symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus:

Contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, your local public health unit or your primary care provider.

Please do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a healthcare professional.

Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

We know that these are stressful times. That’s why it’s important to take the right steps, like staying home and working remotely, to help flatten the curve. And as you do, know that your government is right there with you, every step of the way. We’re in this together.

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