COVID-19 Government and International Response: April 24, 2020


Global COVID-19 cases have reached 2,761,121, up from 2,665,122 yesterday. Canada is now reporting 43,552 cases, up from 41,752 cases of COVID-19 at 3:30 yesterday. Ontario reports 13,519 cases, up 640 cases (5%) from yesterday’s 12,879 cases. The province has now tested 207,040 individuals and reports 5,414 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.


Prime Minister Trudeau announced the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

Details on the program include:

  • Forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

The Prime Minister said a program for large businesses is also being developed and more information would be available in the coming days. More information about CECRA here.

Toronto Region Board of Trade responded, noting: The two biggest components of businesses expenses are payroll and rent. The fact that we now have relief programs that address both is good news – but as with the payroll subsidy, details will matter. Program eligibility may deter some applicants, and refinement will be necessary. More information here.

Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan participated in the Ministerial Roundtable on Economic Recovery, hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Denmark’s Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen today. Participants included IEA Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol, ministers from governments supportive of the IEA Clean Energy Transitions Program and special guests from international organizations and industry. More information here.


Following the federal announcement of the CECRA, Premier Ford shared more information about how the program will work in Ontario. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of relief that would be provided in the province is more than $900 million, which aims to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen their doors when emergency measures are lifted. More information here.


This afternoon Mayor Tory announced former Ontario Deputy Minister and former CEO of TO2015 Saad Rafi and Ontario’s former chief medical officer Dr. David Mowat will lead the City’s recovery and rebuild team. Dr. Mowat will be responsible for determining when and how businesses and city facilities can reopen.

Rafi will report to Toronto’s City Manager Chris Murray on a multipronged mandate including delivering the city’s recovery strategies and actions, ensuring the municipal government “emerges from the pandemic more efficient, more effective and more resilient than ever,” and working with other governments and the private and not for profit sectors on strategies to stimulate the economy. More information here.


Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases yesterday at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 2,761,121 2,665,122 95,999 355.09 760,047 193,671
Canada 43,552 41,752 1,800 1,146.74 15,469 2,294
United States 903,098 867,771 35,327 2,740.34 83,350 51,061
China 84,302 84,287 15 60.13 77,257 4,642
India 23,452 21,700 1,752 17.24 4,814 723
Italy 192,994 189,973 3,021 3,203.57 60,498 25,969
Spain 219,764 213,024 6,740 4,665.86 92,355 22,524
Germany 154,159 151,336 2,823 1,854 92,262 5,653
United Kingdom 143,464 138,078 5,386 2,159.45 19,506
Brazil 51,073 46,701 4,372 241.67 26,573 3,408
Chile 12,306 11,812 494 644.05 6,327 174
Iran 88,194 87,026 1,168 1,058.36 66,596 5,574
Australia 6,674 6,661 13 260.04 5,095 78