Good Morning!Here comes our fiscal knights in dark suits.In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the House of Commons passed emergency legislation to unleash up $82 billion to help Canadians cope with the COVID-19 crisis.In the U.S., the fractious policymakers also spurred into action. The White House and Congress agreed on a fiscal package of…


Good Morning!

Here comes our fiscal knights in dark suits.

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the House of Commons passed emergency legislation to unleash up $82 billion to help Canadians cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

In the U.S., the fractious policymakers also spurred into action. The White House and Congress agreed on a fiscal package of more than US$2 trillion, which still awaits a vote in the Senate, as well as House approval.

Bloomberg is reporting that if the package is approved, it would provide individuals direct payments to lower- and middle-income Americans of US$1,200 for each adult, as well as US$500 for each child. Unemployment insurance would be extended to four months, the benefits would be bolstered by US$600 weekly and eligibility would be expanded to cover more workers.

“While we still need to see some more details, stripping out the lending programs appears to leave about US$1.1 trillion in direct support, which weighs in at a hefty 5.2 per cent of GDP,” said Robert Kavcic, senior economist, at Bank of Montreal. “For the record, Canada’s package last week came in at 1.2 per cent of GDP.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the $82 billion fiscal measures are only the first steps, and the government has taken nothing off the table to help Canadians. The emergency legislation, presumably gives government flexibility to quickly get financial relief to Canadians and businesses without having to recall Parliament each time.

There is a dire need for quick action.

More than two-in-five Canadian households have already lost work due to the COVID-19 crisis and one in five say they are expecting it to happen any time now, a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute has found, writes National Post’s Stuart Thomson.

Nearly one million Canadians applied for jobless claims last week as the economy rapidly deteriorates, according to a senior government official. Worryingly, 37 per cent of those who have experienced job loss in their household say they’re not equipped to handle even an extra $100 expense in the next 30 days, according to the poll.

Given the dire situation, the government may need to roll out more relief — and fast.

Here’s what you need to know this morning:

  • House of Commons passes legislation for COVID-19 help with unanimous support
  • White House, senators strike deal on America’s biggest rescue package ever — $2 trillion in spending and tax breaks
  • Residential tenants, landlords face dilemma as rent comes due on April 1
  • UFCW Canada Says Members Working At Cargill, Maple Leaf Foods, Olymel Facilities To Receive Wage Increases
  • ‘Very, very frightening’: Calls for government bailout grow louder as oilpatch faces bleak outlook
  • World stocks leap 11% this morning on $2-trillion U.S. stimulus, raising hopes of first back-to-back gains in a month
  • Internet networks feel the strain as COVID-19 sparks surge in Canadians working from home
  • We should be testing potential coronavirus carriers, not people who are already sick
  • Twenty per cent of Canadians would run out of cash in a month if laid off now: survey
  • Shaw Communications founder JR Shaw has died, age 85
  • WestJet cuts 6,900 staff; Air Canada to furlough up to 600 pilots as coronavirus slashes flights
  • Nearly 1 million Canadians applied for jobless claims last week as economy rapidly deteriorates
  • COVID-19 outrage as snowbirds flock across the border, shop and refuse to self-isolate

 

  • Why Bombardier may struggle to close $9.5 billion in deals critical to manage its looming debt
  • ‘We may be only half way’: How coronavirus market chaos compares to 2008 financial crisis — podcast
  • Farmers plan to quarantine foreign seasonal workers amid struggle to maintain food production
  • The Great Canadian Bailout: Here are Ottawa’s options to help Canadians amid Covid-19
  • Canada’s collection of troubled assets about to soar as coronavirus takes its toll

  • Province of Ontario will release a fiscal update
  • Dr David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, to provide update on COVID-19 in Toronto
  • First Nations Health Managers Association and Indigenous Services Canada, will stream a virtual Town Hall to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting health managers, frontline health workers and First Nations communities in Toronto
  • B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on novel coronavirus in Victoria

Ontario, the country’s largest province in terms of economy and population, is in virtual lock down and is facing rising economist costs as most businesses remain closed.

In that backdrop, the province’s financial minister Rod Phillips is set to unveil a fiscal update today.

“It’s… going to make clear to Ontarians we’ve got the money to support our health-care system, we’re going to be supporting jobs and people as well and that their government has a plan,” Phillips told The Canadian Press.

 

— Please send your news, comments and stories to yhussain@postmedia.com.
— Yadullah Hussain @Yad_Fpenergy

With files from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg

 

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