FILE – Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

The military is ready to help provinces and territories with the fight against COVID-19, National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Monday (March 30).

Sajjan made the announcement at a now-daily press conference by Canadian health officials and federal ministers in Ottawa.

The national defence ministry was tasked with coming up with a “mobilization” plan for the COVID-19 crisis. Sajjan said the three main aims of the plan were to: support efforts to slow the spread of the virus; support for vulnerable communities, especially Indigenous and in the northern; and to assist provinces and territories with logistics, including help for municipalities.

Sajjan said military members have been told to physically distance since the start of COVID-19 in Canada to ensure they would be ready.

He said no premiers had yet made requests for military assistance.

“There is no priority set. This will be based on the needs on the ground.”

Monday’s update comes just one day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there were “no plans underway to have the army intervene.”

On whether the military would help enforce quarantines, Sajjan said that was not off the table, but different parts of the country could need different measures.

READ MORE: Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Water recovery team stands down search for missing man in Stellako River

Jason Bouchard was in a boat with a friend that overturned in the river May 16

Canfor announces permanent closure of Isle Pierre Mill

The company also announced curtailments at their pulp mills in Prince George.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation to receive 30 greenhouses from Rio Tinto

With over two months since the COVID-19 restrictions were put in place,… Continue reading

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Most Read