Economy

Coronavirus: Trudeau tight-tipped on possible support for Air Canada, other airlines

Coronavirus: Trudeau tight-tipped on possible support for Air Canada, other airlines”

An internal bulletin to members from the Canadian Union of Public Employees says Air Canada will ask workers to slash their schedules, go on leave for up to two years or resign with travel privileges.

Air Canada did not respond directly to questions about whether it would drop the wage subsidy, which Ottawa recently extended through August.

Air Canada, the country's largest airline, used the wage subsidy to rehire more than 16,000 employees who were laid off in March, but hasn't said whether it will extend participation in the program.

Trudeau announced today $100 million in funding for the Canadian Red Cross to ensure that the organization can continue to respond to COVID-19 matters while also preparing for potential floods and wildfires.

"We know that airlines are incredibly hard hit by this pandemic and we will be there to work with them to see how best we can help".

"This is a pandemic that has hit extremely hard in all sectors of the economy and it is something that we are all trying to figure out how to get through in the best possible way", he said, noting that airlines and the tourism sector have been hit even harder.

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Air Canada suspended most of its worldwide flights, including to the United States, after the temporary closure of the border between the USA and Canada in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But now the company says workers who are laid off will no longer fall under this program and will have to apply instead for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which pays $2,000 a month to workers who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

"This additional tax-free support will help families pay for things such as food, clothes, and activities they can do together at home".

While Air Canada is not now contributing to most worker wages, the airline has continued to put money toward pensions and benefits, a continuous cash drain at a company that lost more than $1 billion last quarter.

By bringing their respective technologies and expertise together to fight COVID-19, CanSino Biologics and the National Research Council of Canada are aiming to pave the way for future clinical trials in Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Immunization Research Network at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology.

On Tuesday, the National Research Council of Canada announced that it would work with a Chinese company to try to develop its potential vaccine for COVID-19 more quickly.

-With files from Keith Doucette.



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