Canadian kids, seniors getting federal help during COVID-19

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reached out to kids and seniors Sunday morning, pledging $16.5 million for front line help to deal with effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking from outside his home in Ottawa during his daily address to the nation, Trudeau said $7.5 million will be invested in Kids Help Phone to hire more counsellors and volunteers.

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“For far too many people, home is not a safe place to be and some have no place to go. Tough times fall the hardest on the most vulnerable,” said Trudeau.

Speaking directly to kids, the prime minister said, “you have seen the world changing, you haven’t seen your friends, you’ve hunkered down with parents.

“But there’s (perhaps) extra tension in your family. There are people who can help, reach out to Kids Help Phone.

“Text 686868. Or call 1800 6686868. They are there for you.”

Trudeau also recognized “seniors are getting hit the hardest,” not being able to get out and get their own groceries and feeling the most isolated.

He offered $9 million for the New Horizons program for seniors at United Way to help with the likes of more health check- ins and grocery deliveries.

Asked if the Canadian government had been asked for the army to intervene in Quebec and block off Montreal, Trudeau said no such request had been made.

“The situation evolves every day and we’re ready to consider all eventualities,” he added.

In Canada, as of Sunday morning, there have been 5,655 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 64 deaths. More than 500 people have fully recovered.

In B.C., there have been 884 confirmed cases of the virus, resulting in 17 deaths. Almost 400 people have fully recovered.

Globally, as of Sunday morning, there have been 684,825 cases, resulting in 32,182 deaths. More than 146,000 have fully recovered.

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