Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that the impact of the global spread of the novel coronavirus has extended to the Canadian economy — which is already reeling from the ongoing transportation blockades in support of Wet’suwet’en.
Trudeau announced at a press conference today that the country is seeing reduced tourism as people become increasingly wary of travel amid COVID-19 outbreaks across the world, and also that the economy in general is at the point of “a slowdown,” in part due to supply-chain disruptions in China and lack of business and consumer confidence.
The Canadian dollar has also depreciated as a result, and some are unnecessarily planning for a doomsday scenario.
The federal government is now looking at what measures it can take to help bolster the economy while the virus’s pandemic potential continues to have negative effects on economies and people everywhere.
It has started with the advent of a special cabinet committee that will closely monitor the coronavirus situation and help to limit spread in Canada while also keeping Canadians informed so that they can “have the right frame to make good decisions.”
On the cabinet are Health Minister Patty Hajdu, Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Finance Minister Bill Morneau, among other officials.
Banks like the Bank of Canada and Royal Bank have also reduced interest rates, with the formercalling the move a response to the “material negative shock to the Canadian and global outlooks” that the communicable disease has posed.
Slashing rates is method of stimulating economic activity, as more people are likely to invest, borrow and otherwise move money around.
Canada has now confirmed 33 cases of the novel coronavirus, with dozens more people undergoing testing.
More than 93,000 people in at least 80 countries have been infected with COVID-19, and more than 3,000 have died — almost all of which (both cases and deaths) have been in mainland China.
More than half of those who have fallen ill with the novel virus, which has a fatality rate somewhere around 3 per cent that varies greatly depending on where a person is treated, have made a full recovery.