Applications for federal emergency relief now open

Aid applications now open

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UPDATE 8:25 a.m.

Applications opened today for the new federal emergency aid benefit for Canadians who have lost their income because of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Trudeau said today that 240,000 Canadians have already applied today and more will have the opportunity tomorrow.

The Canada Revenue Agency opened its application portals this morning to those born in the first three months of the year, with those born in other months able to apply later in the week.

The agency is trying to keep demand from overwhelming its online and telephone systems.

More than two million Canadians lost their jobs in the last half of March as businesses across the country were forced to close or reduce their operations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Others are unable to work because they are required to self-isolate at home, or need to look after children whose schools and daycares are closed.

Canadians who sign up for direct deposit could get their first payment before the end of the week, while those who opt for printed cheques will get money in 10 days.

ORIGINAL 8:05 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be providing a live update on how the federal government will be approaching what is being described as a crucial week in the fights against COVID-19.

This is now the fourth week of physical distancing and shutdown of non-essential workplaces and health officials say they will be watching closely the number of new cases being reported to get a sense of whether or not the measures in place are proving effective at slowing the virus’ spread.

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