TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that the Canada – U.S. border is closing to non-essential travel.
In a press conference this morning Trudeau also announced billions of dollars in financial aid for Canadians and Canadian businesses as the financial toll from the coronavirus pandemic deepens.
“To ensure the economy rebounds after this our government is prepared to do more,” he said.
Airlines including Sunwing Airlines, Porter and Transat have all announced operation suspensions and more are surely to come as the travel industry is among the hardest hit by a swift chain of events that has left countries in lockdown and more borders closing every day.
Trudeau said the Canada – U.S. border closure will continue for “as long as it’s necessary.”
He added: “We’re going to face this and recover from this together.”
Airlines around the world are slashing capacity or grounding operations altogether. IATA has warned that revenue losses for the world’s airlines are already past the worst-case scenario of US$113 billion and the strain of the near-global travel shutdown could see many airlines go bankrupt.
Yesterday Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said the federal government is in close contact with all of Canada’s airlines and realizes “the unprecedented effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on their businesses.” He acknowledged that bookings at Canada’s carriers “have dropped in an almost precipitous manner” and said the government is “in discussions” with the airlines, although he couldn’t elaborate. “We realize this important sector of our economy is under a very heavy burden at this time.”