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Premier, Ontario finance minister applaud federal COVID-19 aid announced this morning

Ontario promises to "stand shoulder to shoulder" with federal government


In a press conference this afternoon Premier Doug Ford said: "Frontline workers "are the heroes. They are the ones working day and night to slow the spread of the virus."

The premier urged Ontarians to reach out and thank nurses, doctors, and cleaning staff.

Ford thanked people who are "doing their part to flatten the curve," by following directions issued as part of yesterday's declaration of a State of Emergency in the province.

Ford thanked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his leadership and applauded the decision to close the Canada/U.S. border to non-essential travel.

"I know it was a tough decision, but it was the right decision," said Ford.

He said the government has been working closely with the federal government to coordinate their response, said he was pleased to see the finincial aid announce by Trudeau this morning.

"Very pleased to see the federal government stepping up in a big, big way," said Ford.

Ford said Ontario is now doing 2,000 COVID-19 tests a day and "on our way" to being able to do 5,000 tests per day.

Ford said another stage of aid is coming from the province, and promised Ontarians would hear more in the coming days.

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips called the federal funding announced this morning "a substantial package."

Next Wednesday Phillips will issue an economic and fiscal statement which will outline "further supports."

"Part of the timing of that was to make sure we had the opportunity to see what the federal government was doing," said Phillips.

Phillips said Ontario will be working with the federal government to align aid initiatives.

"We look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with the federal government," Phillips said.

Health Minister Christine Elliot said that the province is having "a few issues" with TeleHealth, despite adding 300 more lines this morning. She told reporters that the province is working with the provider to fix the issue and hopes to have it resolved soon.

Original story:

Premier Doug Ford is expected to deliver an update on Ontario's response to COVID-19.