The Prime Minister announced that the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have agreed to a set of common principles for gradually restarting the Canadian economy. The First Ministers released a joint statement which includes the following four principles:
- taking a science and evidence-based approach to decision-making;
- coordination and collaboration between all jurisdictions;
- continued accountability and transparency of all governments; and
- flexibility and proportionality as information changes over time.
This statement identifies the criteria and measures that must be in place in order to restart the economy, including:
- COVID-19 transmission is controlled, so new cases are contained at a level that our health care system can manage;
- sufficient public health capacity is in place to test, trace, isolate, and control the spread of the virus;
- expanded health care capacity exists to support all needs, including COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients;
- supports are in place for vulnerable groups, communities, and key populations. This includes the protection of seniors, residents of group living facilities, workers in close quarters, homeless people, Indigenous peoples and those living in remote locations, health care workers and other essential workers, and inmates;
- support and monitoring of workplace protocols are in place to keep Canadians safe at their jobs, and prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19;
- restrictions on non-essential travel are eased and managed in a coordinated manner; and
- communities are supported in managing local disease activity, including in child care, schools, and public transportation, and industry and economic sectors are engaged to support the health of Canadians, reduce viral activity, and protect the economy as it restarts.
On July 16, 2020, the Prime Minister announced $19-billion in funding for the provinces and territories under the “Safe Restart Agreement.” The funding allocation is based on seven priority areas, including testing, contact tracing, and personal protective equipment. Approximately $1.1-billion will be used to fund a temporary national sick leave program providing 10 days of paid sick leave to employees who do not already have paid sick leave.