How is Canada prepared for coronavirus?
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus (coronavirus).
Whilst surprising news for the nation, it emphasises that everyone must contribute to the eventual solution and that no-one is immune to the virus’ effect, including businesses and organisations.
A helping hand
With coronavirus being officially recognised as a pandemic by the WHO (World Health Organisation), province's have reacted by scheduling to close all public schools.
Meanwhile, Shopify has instructed employees to work remotely, a solution which might gain momentum for businesses able to accommodate it.
Justin Trudeau has announced that a CA$1.1bn package will be spread across the country to help provinces cope with added strains to public health and the supply chain.
The money will include $275mn to conduct further research into the virus in the hopes of developing a vaccine and $200mn for medical supplies, additional assistance to indigenous communities and educational functions.
In a public address, Trudeau made it clear to Canadian that their best interests were the government’s priority. “I want all premiers and Canadians to know your government is here for you. We will make sure you have everything you need.”
Working towards a solution
According to an article by Bloomberg, the Bank of Canada is poised to increase the amount of cash circulating in an effort to manage the effects of coronavirus.
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There are widespread concerns that the deleterious effects of the pandemic on the economy could result in another recession.
Some believe that current measures will need to be ramped up to counter the extent of the crisis - Jean-Francois Perrault, Chief Economist at Scotiabank, claims that a far bigger package than Trudeau is offering is necessary.
This is due to a perfect storm of factors, such as the recent drop in crude oil prices, volatile financial markets and the virus’ rapid global spread.
Feeling the effects
Canadian oil companies are particularly feeling the strains of the situation. Cenovus Energy Inc has released a press statement that it will be reducing its capital spending for 2020 by 32%.
“Consistent with our commitment to balance sheet strength, we’re exercising our flexibility to reduce discretionary capital while maintaining our base business and delivering safe and reliable operations,” said Alex Pourbaix, President and CEO.
Other companies in Canada may similarly need to review their operations and decide the best way to weather the storm: a forward-thinking and proactive approach could be pivotal.
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