by Elizabeth May | March 18, 2020 9:49 am
OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada welcomes the financial support to Canadians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic announced by the Trudeau administration in Ottawa today.
“We’re grateful to the government for announcing substantial measures that will provide Canadians with some financial comfort during these distressing and uncertain times,” said Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “The commitment is there. It’s so important that no one should be afraid to stay home due to financial worries. In order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, we must support people who are unable to work due to self isolation, or because they must stay home to look after loved ones. For part-time and self employed workers, those in the gig economy, small business owners watching their revenues dry up, these measures will provide much needed reassurance.”
While the Green caucus is encouraged by today’s announcements, one area that they hope will soon be addressed is support for Canadian farmers.
“It’s encouraging that financial support is being put in place for the large numbers of Canadian workers who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance,” said Paul Manly (MP, Nanaimo-Ladysmith) “The new measures announced today aimed at helping small businesses retain their employees, are also positive steps. One area that specifically concerns me though is food production. We have a looming crisis in agriculture. We need a relief package for farmers, and we must find solutions for farmers who rely on temporary foreign workers. We cannot let our local and regional food production supply chains fail, we urgently need to protect them.”
Green caucus critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services Jenica Atwin (MP, Fredericton) was encouraged that $305 million will be dedicated to a new Inidgenous Community Support Fund. “First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities are particularly vulnerable at this time,” said Ms. Atwin. “These funds will help, and we’ll continue to monitor the situation to ensure that sufficient funding will be made available throughout this crisis. I was also pleased to see that there will be funding for homeless shelters and for those escaping gender-based violence.”
“There are so many frontline workers to whom we are grateful,” said Green Party Interim Leader Jo-Ann Roberts. “Whether they be healthcare professionals, those keeping our pharmacies and food stores stocked or essential service workers, they are all helping to keep us safe and strong. Knowing that our food and medical supplies are readily available will help curb hoarding, thereby ensuring that people can get the supplies that they need.
“I greatly appreciate that some of our parliamentary colleagues have listened to suggestions from our caucus and am encouraged by the cross-party collaboration. We know that many Canadians will still have questions and concerns, and we will continue to advocate on their behalf. Canadians are a resilient people, joining forces in so many different ways to help each other. Today our government stepped up to provide them with a much needed financial support package, and we applaud that,” concluded Ms. May.
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