Safe Restart Agreement

The Safe Restart Agreement (SRA) is a federal investment of more than $19 billion to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies and make our country more resilient to possible future surges in cases of COVID-19.

This investment will help address the key priorities, agreed to by Canada’s First Ministers, for the safe restart of Canada’s economy over the next six to eight months. It will support measures to increase testing and contact tracing of the virus to protect Canadians from a future outbreak, and support the capacity of our health care systems, including services for people facing mental health challenges. It will also assist with the procurement of personal protective equipment to help our essential workers, and in protecting the most vulnerable, like our seniors.

The agreement will also help get funding quickly to municipalities so they can deliver essential services that Canadians rely on every day, such as public transit. In addition, it includes actions to help Canadian workers during this challenging time, such as ensuring the availability of safe child care to help parents returning to work, and providing income support for people who do not have paid sick leave so all Canadians can stay healthy.

Priorities to safely restart Canada’s economy

The Government of Canada is working to ensure that Canada has the resources it needs to safely restart the economy, while protecting the health of Canadians. In partnership with the provinces and territories, federal efforts will focus on seven priorities to address Canadians’ immediate needs within the next six to eight months.

Testing, contact tracing, and data management

In order to best help Canadians if a further outbreak of the virus occurs, investments in testing, contact tracing, and public health data management are needed. The Government of Canada will provide $4.28 billion to support provinces and territories with the costs of increasing their capacity to conduct testing, perform contact tracing, and share public health data that will help fight the pandemic. The goal is to ensure provinces and territories have the capacity to test up to 200,000 people per day, nationwide. Funding and support will also be provided to improve and modernize data management across Canada, to help all orders of government coordinate their efforts to contain the virus.

Health care system capacity

Canadians rely on our health care services and mental health supports every day. COVID-19 has placed significant demands on our health care systems, and placed additional strain on our mental health care. The Government of Canada will provide $700 million to support health care system capacity to respond to a potential future surge in cases of COVID-19. The Government of Canada will also provide $500 million to address immediate needs and gaps in the support and protection of people experiencing challenges related to mental health, substance use, or homelessness. The government is committed to keeping Canadians safe and healthy and providing the health care support needed during these difficult times.

Vulnerable populations

Canadians receiving long-term care, home care, and palliative care are at an increased risk of more severe cases of COVID-19. As the economy restarts, it is important to have continued protections and supports in place for seniors, and provide health and social supports to other vulnerable populations. The Government of Canada will provide $740 million to support one-time costs over the next six to eight months for measures to control and prevent infections. This could include addressing staffing issues in long-term care, home care, and palliative care facilities and services. Funding can also be used to support other vulnerable populations.

Municipalities

Municipalities are on the front lines of a safe restart of the economy and will need to put in place appropriate precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and manage public spaces and critical services, like public transit. The Government of Canada will contribute up to $2 billion to support municipalities with COVID-19 operating costs for the next six to eight months. Provincial and territorial governments will continue to support municipalities, and will cost-match federal supports with investments made this fiscal year. In addition, the Government of Canada will also cost-match more than $2.3 billion to support any additional provincial/territorial contributions for public transit.

Personal protective equipment for health and non-health workers

Keeping Canada’s health care workers safe and healthy is a top priority, and COVID-19 has added significant pressure to ensure that there is enough supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for these and other essential workers. The Government of Canada and provinces and territories have made significant investments in this area. To support the restart of the economy, the Government of Canada will commit $4.5 billion to purchase PPE for national use and commit $3 billion to provinces and territories for PPE investments. To facilitate future procurement, provinces and territories will share PPE-related data with the Government of Canada on a regular basis.

Child care for returning workers

So parents can know that their children are safe as they gradually return to the workplace, the Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to ensure sufficient child care is available during this challenging time. The Government of Canada will provide $625 million to address the reduced availability of child care spaces and the unique needs stemming from the pandemic.

Pan-Canadian sick leave

To safely restart the economy, Canada must ensure that workers do not return to work if they have COVID-19 or are showing symptoms. To encourage workers to remain at home and seek public health advice if they are showing symptoms, the Government of Canada will fund a new temporary income support program, at an estimated cost of $1.1 billion. The new program will support workers who do not already have access to other paid sick leave. Where not already available, provinces and territories will establish job-protected sick leave, through regulation or legislation, that allows workers to take up to 10 days of leave related to COVID-19.

Safe Restart Agreement Response Letters

Announcements on the Safe Restart Agreement supplemental funding top-ups

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