Canadian companies providing medical gear, Trudeau says

Applications For Canada Emergency Response Benefit Now Open

Hundreds of thousands of applications already submitted for COVID-19 emergency benefit: PM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that demand for critical equipment, such as test kits and ventilators, is urgent across the country because of the huge increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.

In his daily briefing to media outside Rideau Cottage on Tuesday, Trudeau was asked about a report by the Globe and Mail that Chinese tech firm Huawei - which the USA views as an espionage risk - is quietly shipping millions of medical masks and other protective equipment to Canada.

He also said that the Canadian parliament, which has been suspended for three weeks, would most likely have a "virtual" session in the coming days to allow as many lawmakers as possible to join debates on pressing laws that need to be adopted.

The Prime Minister announced 500,000 N95 face masks made by 3M should arrive in Canada Wednesday.

Canada's main argument to the United States is that they are reliant on raw materials, manufactured goods and health-care professionals from Canada, and that both countries will do better if neither blocks those supplies or people from crossing the border. Nationally, the number of confirmed cases grew to more than 17,000.

CERB, which is being administered by Services Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency, is created to help those who can no longer collect income due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Separately, Canada's public health agency said on Tuesday that the death toll from the outbreak had risen to 345 from 293 on Monday.

"I know House leaders will be speaking throughout the day to reach an agreement for the House of Commons to quickly pass this legislation, which will give much needed financial support to Canadian workers while helping employers to keep their staff on the payroll", he said.

"The entire world was unprepared", he said.

Trudeau also praised the efforts of the more than 5,000 companies who have stepped up to help the fight.

Canada could soon have up to 30,000 ventilators.

Trudeau said the government is also working with the likes of Arc'teryx, Canada Goose and Stanfield's to produce other needed supplies, including gowns.

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The agreement with Victoria's StarFish Medical (StarFish Product Engineering Inc.), CAE Inc. However, there are letters of intent with other companies for up to 29,000 more.

Dr. Tam said that as collective scientific knowledge of COVID-19 continues to grow, "it is clear that transmission of the virus is happening more often than previously recognized from infected people right before they develop symptoms".

The new benefit will provide successful applicants with $2,000 a month for four months. Today, it's people born April through June.

Almost one million Canadians filed for income support benefits on the first day the emergency COVID-19 program was open for applications.

They have spread out the applications, to ease the burden on the system.

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