It will be weeks still before Canada can start reopening the economy and any such effort will be done in stages and in coordination with the 10 provinces, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.
Trudeau also told a daily briefing that he would shortly have more to say about a promised aid package for the oil and gas industry, which has been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak. He did not give details.
Authorities across Canada have ordered a shutdown of non-essential businesses, throwing millions of people out of work. The jobless rate is set to soar to 25% from around 6% before the crisis struck.
“Everyone is very interested to know when things are going to get back to normal, when they’ll be able to go back to work. … The reality is, it is going to be weeks still. We recognize that it is going to be important to get our economy going and we will have to do it in phases,” Trudeau said.
“We are having ongoing discussions with the provinces … about how we are going to reopen the economy. It’s just that it’s going to be a while still.”
More than 700 people have died of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, in Canada, which is reporting almost 25,000 positive diagnoses.