$518M in new research funding announced, federal wage and rent subsidies extended Dee Burman

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says three federal aid programs designed to blunt the fallout from COVID-19 are being extended.

Trudeau says the federal wage subsidy, rent support and lockdown programs will remain in place until June.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says all three programs will keep support at the current levels.

She says the trio of programs are being extended because the economy is still struggling even with encouraging signs of a recovery on the horizon.

Trudeau also announced $518 million in funding Wednesday that he says will support the work of nearly 1,000 researchers.

Effort to boost Canada’s ability to produce vaccines are among the over 100 research projects receiving the new federal money.

The projects receiving the cash also include ocean sensors to track climate change and setting up a digital archive to house records related to residential schools.

The vaccine-related funding will be directed to the researchers from the Universite Laval-affiliated hospitals in Quebec City.

Their aim is to create a public vaccine production program that will help develop and test vaccines and launch related startup companies.

Frustration that Canada is reliant on foreign manufacturers to access the COVID-19 vaccine has led to calls to boost Canada’s domestic capabilities.

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