Feds, provinces reach deal on $19 billion in funding for reopening


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal, provincial and territorial governments have reached a deal on billions of dollars in transfers to continue reopening economies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says the federal government will contribute $19 billion to the effort.

The money is to help the lower-tier governments with needs such as funding child care, bailing out cities whose expenses have soared and revenues plunged, increasing contact-tracing capacity, and buying personal protective equipment.

The pandemic is a health crisis, but Trudeau says it has a deep economic dimension.

He says workers can't work if their children don't have safe care, and many can't get to their jobs if they don't have access to safe transit systems.

That means funding needed services better so they don't have to rely on crowding many people into small spaces for their finances to make sense.

The Nova Scotia government says the province will receive more than a quarter of a billion dollars under the agreement.

The majority of the federal funding will be allocated on a per capita basis, with some being allocated based on need.

Government says some measures, such as sick leave, will be fully funded and administered by the federal government.

Premier Stephen McNeil says this funding will help address the challenges faced by individuals and businesses.

(With files from Bell Media's James Faulkner)