Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began his daily remarks by announcing that his government will be releasing new modeling projections on COVID-19 later this afternoon. He also announced that Canadian seniors will receive a previously announced one-time benefit top-up in early July.
New COVID-19 Projections
The Prime Minister noted that new modeling projections show that Canada is making progress in the fight against the virus. The data is showing a low number of cases in many communities, and, significantly, health officials have been able to trace where the cases originated. It is an encouraging sign that the virus is slowing down and, in some cases, even stopping. However, Trudeau again cautioned that we are not out of the woods yet and the pandemic is still threatening many Canadians, particularly in long-term care and seniors’ homes.
“So, while we are beginning to loosen up the criteria as we re-open parts of our economy, we will be tightening other aspects to ensure safe and cautious reopening,” Trudeau said.
This will be the third federal modelling update, where officials are expected to detail the overall best- and worst-case scenarios, varying on the degree of actions taken by governments and Canadians.
One-Time Benefit Top-Up for Seniors
Among those impacted the most by COVID-19 have been seniors. Trudeau noted that they have been unable to take public transit and unable to go out to shops to look for sales. Relying on online shopping and delivery has driven up their cost of living. The federal government announced a series of measures back in April to support seniors — including top-up payments of $300 to Old Age Security and $200 to the Guaranteed Income Supplement — and today Trudeau announced those payments will begin to be issued the week of July 6.
Through this measure and others, the government is providing nearly $900 more for single seniors and more than $1,500 for senior couples, on top of their existing benefits, to help these vulnerable Canadians with extra costs during the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 crisis has been tough on seniors and that is why these additional funds will make a difference,” Trudeau said.
More than 4 million low-income seniors have also received a GST credit top-up.