Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an $82 billion aid package to assist businesses and workers to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Trudeau announced a massive aid package, saying the funding is necessary given the circumstances.

“In these extraordinary times, our government is taking extraordinary measures,” he said.

Out of the $82 billion in new funding, $27 billion will come in the form of direct aid to businesses and individuals. $55 billion will be to help with liquidity needs through tax deferrals.

The entire package has a total value of 3% of Canada’s GDP.

Among some of the new funding includes the introduction of the Emergency Care Benefit that will provide money to those who do not qualify for employment insurance and a wage subsidy equal to 10% of employee wages for small businesses.

In addition, the government announced they will be extending the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1 and defer payments until after August 31, 2020.

The government will also be temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments, providing almost $2 billion in extra support.

There will also be a six-month interest-free moratorium on all student loan repayments.

For full details of the aid package, refer to Finance Canada.

As the COVID-19 pandemic forces many businesses and government institutions to close, many fear that Canada may be pushed into a recession.

Last week, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a $10 billion in stimulus specifically to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bank of Canada also cut interest rates in an attempt to increase economic activity.

A recent poll suggested that 65% of Canadians are afraid the COVID-19 outbreak will affect their income, with 86% afraid the Canadian economy as a whole will suffer.

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