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Trudeau, G20 leaders to confer on international response to COVID-19

Last Updated Mar 26, 2020 at 5:59 am EST

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a press conference on COVID-19 at Rideau Cottage, his residence on the grounds of Rideau Hall in Ottawa, on March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The G20 leaders are expected to talk about co-ordination of international efforts to contain the virus.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will confer Thursday with leaders of the world’s biggest economies about the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He’ll be taking part in an video conference with leaders of the G20, who are expected to talk about co-ordination of international efforts to contain the virus and cushion the devastating blow to the world’s economy.

He’s also expected to use his daily news conference outside his residence, where he continues in self-isolation after his wife was diagnosed with COVID-19, to highlight the billions worth of direct financial aid the federal government is providing to help Canadians and businesses weather the crisis.

Legislation enacting $52 billion worth of financial aid and another $55 billion worth of tax deferrals was approved Wednesday by Parliament but the money won’t actually start flowing for another few weeks.

The government is hoping to start delivering the Canada Emergency Response Benefit — $2,000 per month for up to four months for anyone left without income due to the pandemic — by April 6.

Other measures, like a temporary boost to the Canada Child Benefit, are expected to take until May to reach Canadians’ pockets.

Trudeau and his government are now planning efforts to publicize the new measures and inform Canadians about how to apply for them.

Thursday is also the first full day in which a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travellers arriving in Canada will be in effect.

Trudeau was continuing in self-isolation Wednesday, the 14th day for him and his three children after his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, exhibited symptoms of the disease.

He said neither he nor his kids are exhibiting any symptoms but are continuing to follow the advice of health experts.

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