Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Monday March 9, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Monday March 9, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Freeland asks provinces, territories for COVID-19 readiness plans amid 78 virus cases

The letter came as Canada reported its first death on Monday from COVID-19

The federal government is asking the provinces and territories for their plans to deal with COVID-19 ahead of a meeting on Friday between the premiers and the prime minister.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote the provinces and territories asking them to inform the federal government of their state of readiness and any shortages they’re facing ahead of the first ministers meeting in Ottawa.

The letter came as Canada reported its first death on Monday from COVID-19.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s provincial health officer, says the man died at the Lynn Valley Care Centre on Sunday night, and his symptoms were detected between Thursday and early Friday.

She says the man was in his 80s with a number of underlying health conditions.

VIDEO: B.C. records first COVID-19 death in Canada as province hits 32 cases

Friday’s first ministers meeting will include discussions on the potential impact of the spreading virus on the country’s health-care system and its economy.

In her letter, Freeland says the federal government is already leading a bulk procurement of personal protective equipment.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the Canadian economy can weather the economic impacts of the novel coronavirus.

The country’s finances are healthy enough to help individuals and businesses deal with the fallout, Morneau says, without providing details of any plans or when the federal budget will be released.

He also would not reveal whether he expects the deficit to be bigger than previously projected, given the sharp decline in oil prices and the hit to financial markets on Monday, saying only that Ottawa is in a position to respond to challenges like COVID-19, and the budget is only part of the response.

The government is being urged to ease access to federal sick leave benefits, along with tax credits and other breaks, to help workers who can’t afford to stay home when sick, as well as to help small businesses that might not have the cash flow to manage the effects of the outbreak.

Canada has at least 78 cases of the respiratory illness: 32 in British Columbia, 35 in Ontario, seven in Alberta and four in Quebec.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirusfederal government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Scamsters target Montrose resident. File photo
Fraudsters strike again in Montrose

A Montrose resident was taken for thousands in a COVID-related scam

(Black Press file photo)
Trail RCMP fine event organizer for flouting PHO order

Twenty-nine people attended an event at a place of worship in Trail

Violin Lake last fall. Photo: City of Trail
City of Trail applies for grant to decomission dams

Adaptation, Resilience and Disaster Mitigation grant to restore Cambridge Creek and Violin Lk system

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital grows to 66 cases

A majority of cases remain among staff at Royal Inland Hospital

Most Read