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Trudeau to offer update on Canada’s COVID-19 response as Parliament set to resume – THE SVG ONLINE

Trudeau to offer update on Canada’s COVID-19 response as Parliament set to resume

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to offer an update on his government’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic on Sunday.

Trudeau will address Canadians from Rideau Cottage at 11:15 a.m. ET.

Global News will stream his speech here.

READ MORE: Scheer, Trudeau disagree over House of Commons return; Senate suspended

On Saturday, Trudeau announced the existing agreement between the U.S. and Canada to close the land border to non-essential travel would be extended for an additional 30 days in order to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“This is an important decision and one that will keep people on both sides of the border safe,” he told reporters.

According to Trudeau, officials will continue to ensure the movement of vital goods and services between the two countries is not disrupted.

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0:51Coronavirus outbreak: Officials say decision to extend Canada-U.S. border closure ‘absolutely necessary’ for movement of essential supplies
Coronavirus outbreak: Officials say decision to extend Canada-U.S. border closure ‘absolutely necessary’ for movement of essential supplies

The prime minister also announced a $306 million investment for Indigenous businesses struggling with the effects of the pandemic.

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The money, Trudeau said, will be provided through Aboriginal financial institutions and can be used to access short-term interest-free loans to help businesses rebound once the pandemic subsides.

READ MORE: ‘A mistake’: Trudeau says House shouldn’t sit on Monday as negotiations continue

Trudeau expressed concern on Saturday over the potential resumption of Parliament, saying it would be “a mistake” for lawmakers to sit in the House of Commons on Monday.

As it stands, Parliament is expected to resume on Monday, meaning up to 338 Members of Parliament and their staff would gather in Ottawa.

“Obviously, that is not something that, from a public health standpoint, we should want to see happening,“ Trudeau told reporters.

Public health officials have advised all Canadians to avoid gathering in groups, and have urged against all non-essential travel.

0:26Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau says Canada-U.S. land border closure extended by 30 days amid COVID-19 pandemic
Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau says Canada-U.S. land border closure extended by 30 days amid COVID-19 pandemic

According to Trudeau, his government has proposed meeting “in some fashion” once a week to “permit engagement on accountability and also pass further measures to help Canadians.”

But, the Conservatives say several meetings a week are needed to hold the government to account.

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“In order to ensure that Canadians get the real help they need there must be oversight and accountability,” Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said during a press briefing on Friday. “Now more than ever Parliament is an essential service.”

But, as the deadline looms, Trudeau said he is “hopeful” an agreement will be reached.

READ MORE: Live updates: Coronavirus in Canada

According to the latest numbers released by the Public Health Agency of Canada, as of Saturday at 7 p.m., 33,354 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed across the country.

The majority of cases have been reported in Quebec and Ontario which have recorded 17,521 and 10,010 infections respectively.

1:34Coronavirus outbreak: Canadian government to allocate over $306 million to Indigenous businesses
Coronavirus outbreak: Canadian government to allocate over $306 million to Indigenous businesses

So far, the virus has claimed 1,467 lives in Canada.

–With files from Global News’ David Lao

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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