Montreal: The federal government announced it was mobilizing its own resources and co-ordinating with lesser-hit provinces to send health-care workers and other support to help Ontario as it battles record-breaking COVID-19 numbers.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told a news conference that the federal government will co-ordinate and cover all the cost of relocating health-care workers who are sent to help from other provinces, including by using military aircraft.

Some Atlantic provinces are expected to provide estimates of the number of personnel they can send in the next day or two, he said, adding the federal government is also drawing up lists of available staff that could be deployed from departments such as national defence and immigration.

LeBlanc held a media availability along with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Health Minister Patty Hajdu, and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to announce emergency aid for the hard-hit province.

Leblanc told The Canadian Press in an interview that the federal government decided to take a “leadership role” after Ontario reached out to other provinces and territories for assistance.

Ottawa has offered to cover the costs of health-care personnel deployed from elsewhere to help in Ontario, Leblanc said.