Canada is working with our allies to help equip Ukraine
Lifting Pre-arrival COVID Testing
As part of our easing of travel restrictions, fully-vaccinated travellers entering Canada will no longer require a pre-arrival COVID-19 test as of April 1. All travellers will still be subject to random testing upon arrival to help authorities identify and track variants. The lowering of entry requirements is based on falling positivity rates at the border and across Canada. We are excited to see increased travel and to welcome tourists again to Canada’s idyllic landmarks and destinations as the world steadily reopens.
Investing in Small Businesses
Small businesses are at the heart of our community and key to our growing economic recovery. To help businesses thrive in an increasingly digital landscape, our government launched the Canada Digital Adoption Program to help small and medium-sized firms explore e-commerce opportunities, adopt digital tools, and grow their online presence. The CDAP will provide grants and loans via two streams:
1. The Grow Your Business Online grant will help up to 90,000 small businesses acquire e-commerce capabilities through a micro-grant of up to $2,400 and a support network of e-commerce advisors.
2. The Boost Your Business Technology grant will help small to medium-sized businesses pay for advisors, up to a maximum of $15,000, to create a digital adoption plan tailored to their needs. Interest-free loans of up to $100,000 will be made available to help firms implement their digital adoption plans.
From mom-and-pop stores to retail shops to manufacturers, this program will help our economy stay competitive for years to come while creating good-paying jobs. I highly recommend all business owners and entrepreneurs to explore this opportunity by visiting Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s website or calling 1-800-328-6189.
Solidarity with Ukraine
In March, I had the honour of hearing directly from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his historic address to Parliament and the Canadian people. The chamber was moved by President Zelenskyy’s courage and the courage of all Ukrainians risking their lives to defend their homeland against a senseless and brutal Russian invasion.
We are working with our allies to equip Ukraine with the tools it needs to defend itself, including $25 million in protective equipment, lethal weapon systems, and real-time satellite surveillance. I am proud of our soldiers doing critical work to shore up our NATO Allies and deter further aggression as part of Operation Reassurance. From our soldiers stationed in Latvia to our airmen performing airlift and air policing operations, our service members continue to serve with professionalism and valour.
Canada, in tandem with our allies, has launched coordinated and crippling sanctions targeting members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, Russian oligarchs, and financial institutions like the Russian Central Bank. To further empty Russia’s war chest, we have banned Russian oil imports, halted all export permits, and severed several Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system.
The devastation on Ukraine’s proud cities and the growing humanitarian crisis are of great concern to all Canadians. That is why we have allocated $145 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine so far, and will be there to help rebuild a victorious and free Ukraine. We have also introduced new immigration streams for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada temporarily or permanently.
I am touched by the kindness and generosity of residents in Scarborough-Rouge Park, some of whom have already offered to host refugees. As Canadians, we understand what is at stake and stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine, its people, and Ukrainian-Canadians in their hour of need.