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Feds promise recovery will focus on people hurt most by COVID-19 economic crisis

Last Updated Jul 8, 2020 at 2:37 pm EDT

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau takes part in a media lock-up for the federal government's Economic and Fiscal Snapshot 2020 in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says one of his priorities is to fix the social and economic gaps that left women, young people and racialized Canadians to suffer the biggest economic blows from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morneau is delivering a “snapshot” of Canada’s finances today for the first time since the pandemic brought much of Canada’s economy to its knees.

In it, he says he is well aware some segments of the population are hurting more than others.

Women, youth, low-wage workers, racialized Canadians, Indigenous people and new immigrants all saw higher rates of job loss or reduced working hours and are also seeing slow, and in some cases, no benefits as the economy begins to reopen.

Many of those groups are either hit harder by the loss of child care or were overrepresented in the service industries and low-wage jobs that were the first to go and are among the slowest to return.

The same groups have in many cases also been affected more by the virus itself.

The government says some of its $212 billion in direct aid to Canadians and businesses has benefited those groups but Morneau is promising the focus now will be on growth, resilience and creating opportunities for the people most affected by the crisis.