OTTAWA — The federal government is going to pay a bonus to Canadian Armed Forces members at risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of their duties.

National Defence says troops deployed to long-term care facilities in Ontario and Quebec and others will be paid an extra $78 per day.

The military says the Exceptional Hazard Allowance is retroactive to when they started their duties and will be in effect until Sept. 30.

National Defence says these Forces members face the physical hardship of spending all of their shifts wearing full personal protective equipment for up to 12 hours a day.

It says many have served in these facilities for months while being away from their families during a highly challenging time.

The military estimates that about 4,500 troops will be eligible to receive the extra pay.

“From the earliest days of the pandemic, our troops stepped up, as they always do, despite the risk to their own health and safety,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Friday in a release.

“This Exceptional Hazard Allowance is one way we can recognize the significant efforts and risks faced by Canadian Armed Forces members, who have worked hard to keep our family members and loved ones safe during this challenging time.”

Troops who will receive the allowance have worked or are working in 47 long-term care facilities in Quebec and seven in Ontario.

Forces members who supported the repatriation of Canadians from overseas and quarantine services in Trenton, Ont., will also get the bonus pay.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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