Every Friday, we publish a weekly update on COVID-19 and its effect on business.
The Government of Canada Announces the Safe Return to Class Fund
On August 27th, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Safe Return to Class Fund – which will provide up to $2 billion in support for provinces and territories. The purpose of the fund is to provide provinces and territories with the funding they need to work alongside school boards and establish a safe return to school for students and teachers.
Per the Government of Canada’s website, details about the Safe Return to Class Fund include:
- Funding will be provided to provinces and territories in two installments, with the first disbursement in Fall 2020 and additional funding available for early 2021, to ensure that provinces and territories have support for the whole school year.
- The funding by province and territory will be allocated based on the number of children aged between 4 and 18 years old, with a $2 million base amount provided to each jurisdiction.
- Maximum total allocation by province and territory:
- Alberta: $262.84 million
- British Columbia: $242.36 million
- Manitoba: $85.41 million
- New Brunswick: $39.79 million
- Newfoundland and Labrador: $26.18 million
- Northwest Territories: $4.85 million
- Nova Scotia: $47.88 million
- Nunavut: $5.75 million
- Ontario: $763.34 million
- Prince Edward Island: $10.39 million
- Quebec: $432.15 million
- Saskatchewan: $74.90 million
- Yukon: $4.16 million
- The Safe Return to Class Fund is in addition to the more than $19 billion previously announced for the Safe Restart Agreement to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies. This agreement included funding to increase testing and contact tracing of the virus, support vulnerable Canadians, ensure the availability of safe child care, and provide income support for people who do not have paid sick leave so all Canadians can stay healthy.
Canada’s Economy June Gains Suggest Early COVID-19 Efforts “Paying Off”
Although the Canadian economy registered its largest quarterly slump to date during the second quarter of 2020, a significant rebound in June and July is indicating a fast-paced recovery.
As The Globe and Mail reports:
While the depth of Canada’s second-quarter economic loss is sobering, it was actually toward the low end of expectations among economists. The return of activity proved stronger than initially anticipated as the pandemic containment restrictions lifted toward the end of the quarter.
Statscan reported that real GDP surged 6.5 percent in June from May – itself a one-month record, and considerably higher than the agency’s preliminary estimate of 5 percent published several weeks ago. This was on top of an upwardly revised 4.8-per-cent rebound in May, when the lockdowns first began to ease, up from the previously reported 4.5 percent.
Additionally, Statscan has issued a preliminary estimate for July of another 3-per-cent rise, as the recovery continued. In all, real GDP is up about 15 percent from its low point in April – although the July estimate leaves it still about 6 percent below its pre-crisis level in February.
While the coronavirus continues to spread quickly, it is important to remember that only a small percentage of patients need special treatment to recover. Trusted health experts continue to emphasize that the general population shouldn’t panic and should instead focus on practicing proper hygiene, such as hand-washing and refraining from touching the facial area.
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