Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will spend up to $82 billion on measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a March 18, 2020 story. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

UPDATED: Canadian Press NewsAlert: Trudeau promises $82B in economic supports in COVID-19 fight

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will spend up to $82 billion on measures to support the Canadian economy through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money will come through a combination of direct supports for workers and businesses and tax deferrals.

Trudeau said the Liberal government is going to provide $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses to help them get through the economic crisis sparked by the COVID-19 outbreak.

There will also be $55 billion to help Canadians meet liquidity needs through tax deferrals.

There will be an emergency care benefit for those for those who fall ill, need to self-isolate or have to take care of family member with COVID-19 but fail to qualify for employment insurance.

There will be an emergency support benefit for those who lose their jobs and don’t qualify for EI and this includes self-employed workers who have to close up shop.

Trudeau said he spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump this morning and they agreed to temporarily restrict non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border.

He says travellers will no longer be allowed to cross for recreation or tourism.

He also says essential travel will continue, as it is critical to preserve the supply chains that bring both countries food, medicine and other important products.

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