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Budget day 2020 will be March 30, Morneau announces amid coronavirus spread

Budget day 2020 will be March 30: Morneau
Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced during Question Period on Wednesday in the House of Commons that March 30 at 4 p.m. the 2020 federal budget will be delivered.

Budget day 2020 will be March 30, says Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

The unusual move to release the federal budget on a Monday — traditionally, it comes on Tuesdays — comes as the government grapples with the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, in Canada. It has already spread to more than 120,000 people around the world and killed more than 4,000.

READ MORE: WHO declares novel coronavirus disease a pandemic

In the process, the outbreak has tanked stock markets, shut down some borders, stymied global travel with widespread restrictions and led to the cancellation of dozens of major sporting events, concerts and global fora.

Morneau had faced questions on Monday about whether he would delay the budget in light of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Canada and instead focus on deploying federal support to mitigate the spread.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau announces $1 billion CDN national response fund
Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau announces $1 billion CDN national response fund

His announcement of the budget date on Wednesday came hours after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed earlier in the day a $1-billion support package that will see the government give half a billion dollars to the provinces and territories to buy medical gear and prepare their health systems to deal with the outbreak.

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READ MORE: Morneau insists economy can handle coronavirus as economist urges fiscal caution

As of March 11, there were more than 100 cases of the new coronavirus in Canada.

One person has died.

Globally, the death toll stands at more than 4,300 while the number of confirmed cases around the world is more than 120,000.

COVID-19: The economic challenges posed by the virus
COVID-19: The economic challenges posed by the virus