Speaking today about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the opportunity to address the concerns of some of the country’s more vulnerable people: Kids, seniors, and those without shelter.
For kids, Trudeau announced that $7.5 million in funding will go towards counsellors and trained volunteers with Kids Help Phone, a Canadian phone line that offers counseling to kids in need.
“I know these past weeks have been tough,” said Trudeau, speaking to the nation’s youth. “You’re watching the world you know change radically. It’s a source of anxiety, it’s a source of tension.”
“But there are people who can help.”
- Shuttered East Hamilton bowling alley is making a comeback
- COVID-19: Outbreak declared at local church as Hamilton’s death toll climbs
- Judge grants permanent injunction against demonstrators in Indigenous land dispute
The prime minister has urged kids who are feeling troubled by the pandemic to contact Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, texting 686868, or going online to kidshelpphone.ca.
— Kathy Hay (@KathyHay) March 12, 2020
Trudeau acknowledged that seniors, who are already the most at-risk during this outbreak, may also be struggling with feelings of isolation and going out to get the essential items they need such as groceries.
To address this, Minister of Seniors Deb Schulte has announced $9 million to the federal government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program and the United Way, which aim to help seniors with everything from health check-ins to grocery delivery.
“In fact, the United Way is already stepping up. Here in Ottawa, they’re helping people like you with things like meal delivery,” Trudeau said.
The prime minister also mentioned that, earlier this month, the federal government committed $200 million for shelters to help those who currently don’t have a home or need to get away from domestic violence.
Trudeau says this new funding is already having a huge impact, pointing to shelters in Toronto that can now rent additional space to isolate residents with COVID-19.