Aug 15, 2021
Canada PM Justin Trudeau Calls for Snap Election Press Conference Transcript
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for an early election for September 20 during a press conference on August 15, 2021. Read the transcript of the briefing here.
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Justin Trudeau: (00:00)
My friends, it’s been a big couple of years. The last 17 months have been like nothing we’ve ever experienced, and we’re all wondering what the next 17 months, not to mention the next 17 years, will hold. Global pandemic, a global recession, a global climate crisis that’s causing wildfires and flooding around the world.
Justin Trudeau: (00:29)
You’re probably wondering what this means for you, for your job, for your kids, for your retirement, for your community and for your country. Well, that’s fair, but just look at what Canadians did in this time of crisis, in this time of uncertainty. When this pandemic struck, Canadians dug deep. You put on your mask to keep your neighbors safe. You followed public health rules, stayed home and supported our frontline workers, and you rolled up your sleeves to lead the world on vaccinations. No one expected this crisis, but time and time again, community after community, you showed what metal is we’re made of as Canadians.
Justin Trudeau: (01:25)
So don’t stop now. If you haven’t already, go get vaccinated. And if you have, talk to the person you know who still needs to get their shot. They won’t necessarily be easy conversations, but they’re important to have. We owe it to each other because with our actions, we show what it means to be Canadian. And now more than ever, that matters.
Justin Trudeau: (01:57)
But COVID-19 wasn’t something we expected as a government either. But just like you, we knew that staying true to who we are and what we believe in was the only path forward. So from day one, we focused on having your back because that’s what we stood for, because that’s what we’ve always stood for. That’s why we came to Ottawa in the first place, to build a government that would stand up for the middle class and people working hard to join it. That was the real change we delivered over the first six years.
Justin Trudeau: (02:32)
In fact, the very first thing we did was to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% so we could lower them for the middle-class. It’s a real change we delivered by lifting hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty with the Canada Child Benefit, real change by delivering clean drinking water to thousands of indigenous people in over a hundred communities, by building and refurbishing almost 200 schools so far so that tens of thousands of indigenous as kids have a better chance. It’s a real change we delivered by so that everywhere in the country, there is a price on pollution, and then standing firm so that in no way, province is it free to pollute anymore. And those are the values that drove us to deliver the CERB and the wage subsidy to make sure that Canadians could get through this crisis too.
Justin Trudeau: (03:34)
[foreign language 00:03:34].
Justin Trudeau: (04:01)
We’ve had your back and now it’s time to hear your voice. The decisions your government makes right now will define the future your kids and grandkids grow up in. So in this pivotal, consequential moment, who wouldn’t want a say? Who wouldn’t want their chance to help decide where our country goes from here? Canadians need to choose how we finished the fight against COVID 19 and build back better, from getting the job done on vaccines, to having people’s backs all the way to and through the end of this crisis.
Justin Trudeau: (04:42)
For example, as a government, we chose to make sure that federal public servants and everyone boarding a train or a plane be vaccinated. Not everyone agrees. Not every political party agrees. Well, Canadians should be able to weigh in on that and on so much more. We believe that a government’s most important responsibility is to keep Canadians safe and thriving, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.
Justin Trudeau: (05:14)
[foreign language 00:05:14].
Justin Trudeau: (06:35)
I don’t accept any party saying we shouldn’t do everything we can to keep people safe and to end this pandemic and rebuild. And I certainly don’t accept any politician saying you shouldn’t have your choice on how to do that or on what comes next, because as much as we’ve done over the past many, many months, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We think families looking for childcare should get that now. We think workers deserve good, middle-class jobs now. We think more ambition on climate change is needed now. That’s what we think. So what do you think? You deserve a say because this is your moment.
Justin Trudeau: (07:24)
[foreign language 00:07:24]
Justin Trudeau: (07:52)
To elders in long-term care homes and people who’ve worked hard for a good retirement but are struggling, I hear you when you say you deserve better. We’re ready to make sure you get it. To parents thinking about how it just keeps getting more expensive to raise a family, to young people worried about how to afford a home, you’re right. It is tough. Indeed, it’s unacceptable. So we’re going to continue investing in housing and we’re going to keep making life more affordable. To students raising your voices on the climate crisis, yes, I’m right there with you. This is a crisis. And yes, we’re banning single use plastics, and yes, we’ve won the fight for a price on pollution right across this country. But yes, that’s not enough. Our planet and our future are at stake. So I need you alongside me in this fight because together we can do so much more than we can apart.
Justin Trudeau: (09:01)
And to kids, you’ve missed birthdays and school days. This pandemic has hit you hard, and you stepped up to help your moms and dads, to help your community. And now we need to step up to make sure that you’re safe, to make sure we’re building you the best possible future. Real solutions to the real problems we face. A better, stronger Canada for everyone. That is your future to choose. And this is your time to choose it.
Justin Trudeau: (09:39)
In this important moment, maybe the most important since 1945, and certainly in most of our lifetimes, who thinks Canadians shouldn’t have a say? After making it through 17 months of nothing like we’ve ever experienced, Canadians deserve to choose what the next 17 months, what the next 17 years and beyond will look like. And I know that we have the right plan, the right team and the proven leadership to meet that moment.
Justin Trudeau: (10:16)
So to the other parties, please explain why you don’t think Canadians should have the choice, why you don’t think that this is a pivotal moment, because I’m focused on our real plan. I’m focused on the path forward with Canadians. So to Canadians, I’m asking you to vote for real progressive leadership, for strong healthcare, for affordable homes, for clean and protected environment. Make your voice heard, have your say, and together let’s move forward for everyone.
Justin Trudeau: (10:59)
[foreign language 00:10:59].
Speaker 2: (11:25)
[foreign language 00:11:25].
Speaker 3: (11:28)
Good morning, sir. [inaudible 00:11:29] Toronto Star. You didn’t use the word majority, but I know you would like a majority to enact that plan. However, the NDP says you have the confidence of parliament. They’d support you in any of these measures that you talk about, and all of these ambitions. So how can you justify to Canadians the need for an election that’ll cost $500 million in the middle of a fourth wave, when you said to Canadians you would not go to polls before the end of the pandemic?
Justin Trudeau: (11:57)
This is a really important moment in Canada’s history. For the past two years, for the past 17 months, specifically of the pandemic, we’ve been making really big, really consequential decisions. And in the last election, nobody was talking about what we might do in a pandemic. So the government, and indeed parliament, needs an opportunity to get a mandate from Canadians, to hear from Canadians on how to end this pandemic, how to build back better in really meaningful ways. As Canadians know, this is a moment where we’re going to be taking decisions that will last not just for the coming months, but for the coming decades, and Canadians deserve their say. That’s exactly what we’re going to give them.
Justin Trudeau: (12:56)
[foreign language 00:12:56]