Speaking from Rideau Cottage on Saturday, he told reporters the money will go towards helping fish and seafood companies modify their plants to meet COVID-19 health regulations, support social distancing measures as well as buy personal protective equipment for processors.
“As we fight COVID-19, people who work in fish and seafood processing plants across the country are playing a crucial role when it comes to getting food to our tables,” he said.
READ MORE: Live updates: Coronavirus in Canada
“This funding will help ensure that they can safely continue their important work.”
Trudeau said the money could also be used to purchase new equipment like freezers or storage space in order to keep food from going bad while they respond “to a changing market.”
Fish and seafood are among the country’s top food exports and the industry employs roughly 72,000 people.
COVID-19 has killed more than 2,350 people across Canada, more than half of whom were living in long-term care facilities.
Trudeau spoke with provincial and territorial premiers late Friday after more deaths in long-term care homes were reported along with new figures detailing how the illness is affecting people and the economy.
A statement from his office said the premiers acknowledged the importance of gradually reopening the economy based on advice from public health experts.
In the statement, first ministers agreed protecting the health and safety of all Canadians should remain the top priority when restarting the economy.
Trudeau said Saturday they discussed putting together a joint statement outlining what needs to be done in order to reopen the economy that would establish principles and guidelines for the country, based on the advice of Canada’s chief medical officers.
“We have to be mindful that the economy and the realities of each province and territory are unique, so the timing and specific measures will be different across jurisdictions,” he said.
“If we don’t get the next phase right, we risk losing all the progress we’ve made so far.”
More to come.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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