Aug 26, 2021
Canada PM Justin Trudeau Press Conference Transcript August 26
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a press conference on August 26, 2021. He addressed senior care for Canadians and the explosion at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan. Read the transcript of the briefing here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
PM Justin Trudeau: (02:47)
To everyone who helped seniors get through this crisis, whether you got vaccinated to protect not just yourself but a grandparent, whether you dropped off groceries for an elderly neighbor, whether you showed your mom how to use Zoom, thank you for stepping up. As you did your part, we did ours. We sent PPE and support through the Canadian Armed Forces and the Red Cross to long-term care homes. We made sure vulnerable people and the workers who take care of them could get their vaccines. And we were there to help seniors who needed help with their bills; because after a lifetime of hard work, you shouldn’t have to worry about how to make the rent or fill a prescription. You deserve a safe and dignified retirement.
PM Justin Trudeau: (03:36)
PM Justin Trudeau: (07:07)
That’s why I’m asking you to stand with us and vote for real, ambitious leadership, for good healthcare and long-term care, for a cleaner environment and good jobs, for a safer Canada for seniors and for everyone. Together, let’s rebuild an even stronger Canada. And remember, that starts with getting your vaccine, if you haven’t already.
PM Justin Trudeau: (07:33)
Speaker 1: (08:46)
Speaker 2: (08:56)
PM Justin Trudeau: (09:24)
Speaker 1: (10:55)
Speaker 2: (10:55)
Speaker 3: (11:00)
PM Justin Trudeau: (11:22)
Speaker 4: (12:48)
PM Justin Trudeau: (12:51)
We have been consistent in being a strong partner on infrastructure investments across the country. Here in Quebec, whether it’s the Quebec Tramway, or the REM in Montreal, or the Blue Line, we have invested massively to be partners on important projects for Quebecers, as we have for people right across the country.
PM Justin Trudeau: (13:14)
For both the Massey Tunnel, and the troisième lien, we haven’t made any final decisions. We continue to work as partners. We understand how important various projects are, particularly when they’re projects are replacing existing infrastructures that are reaching the end of their lives. Whether that’s the Champlain Bridge, or renovating the Tunel Lafontaine. These are things that we’ve been there for. We’re going to continue to be there as partners for governments.
PM Justin Trudeau: (13:44)
When it comes to the third link proposed tunnel here in Quebec, that is an entirely new project. So of course, we have environmental preoccupations, we have worries about social license for this project. But as I’ve said, we’re interested in looking specifically at the elements that are public transit for that project and we’re waiting for Quebec to give us a final project proposal as well.
Speaker 4: (15:10)
Speaker 5: (15:10)
PM Justin Trudeau: (15:10)
Speaker 4: (15:40)
Speaker 5: (15:43)
PM Justin Trudeau: (15:55)
Speaker 6: (17:23)
In English, prime minister.
PM Justin Trudeau: (17:25)
Our announcement today is about putting more money in the pockets of the most vulnerable seniors. 65 years old and over, people will see an increase of the guaranteed income supplement for the most vulnerable seniors by up to $500, $750 for couples. This is a recognition of the challenges seniors face during this pandemic, but also the responsibility we have to lift even more seniors out of poverty.
PM Justin Trudeau: (17:56)
Since 2015, our investments in seniors have reduced the poverty rate amongst seniors by 20%. But we have more to do. That’s why we’re stepping up with more money for our most vulnerable seniors, if we get reelected.
Speaker 4: (18:13)
Glen McGregor: (18:14)
Glen McGregor, CTV News. Mr. Trudeau, we’re hearing this morning about a major explosion near the Kabul airport. So I was hoping you could share with us what you know about that. It’s a pretty good sign of the jeopardy that people are facing there now. With the Canadian mission over as of today, what’s your message to the people who are counting on Canada’s help to get out of there and didn’t get it?
PM Justin Trudeau: (18:37)
First of all, this is a very difficult day, not just for Afghans, but for people around the world, including in Canada, who have long been deeply committed to the Afghan people and the better future for Afghanistan. The temporary airbridge that was put in place by the Americans over the past number of weeks allowed us to get out tens of thousands of people as an international community and Canada will have been able to lift out about 3,700 people.
PM Justin Trudeau: (19:16)
We have taken as much, if not more advantage of this temporary opportunity than any country, just about any of our allies. I want to thank the Canadian Armed Forces and our diplomats and our hardworking immigration services people who have made that happen.
PM Justin Trudeau: (19:36)
But I do take issue with you saying, now that our engagement with Afghanistan is done, Glen. Our engagement with Afghanistan is not done. Yes, this phase of the emergency airbridge facilitated by the Americans until they pull out finally has important and has been something we’ve been in wholeheartedly over the past many weeks. But our commitment to resettle over 20,000 Afghans in Canada, in the coming months and years, our work to continue to support people in the region, our continued work to put pressure on the Taliban, alongside our international allies, to allow people to leave Afghanistan and come to safety in Canada will continue. This particular moment is done, and it’s heartbreaking to see, but there is much more to do and Canada will continue to be there for Afghans and the Afghan people.
Speaker 7: (20:35)
PM Justin Trudeau: (20:37)
PM Justin Trudeau: (22:03)
Speaker 8: (22:03)
Glen McGregor: (22:04)
I’ll ask that again. Those people in Afghanistan who didn’t make it out, they were looking to your government for help to get out of extreme jeopardy over there. Speak to them. What’s your message to them now that they’re waiting, now that they’ve seen the last Canadian plane has left?
PM Justin Trudeau: (22:19)
We have been working day and night over the past months, past weeks and months to get as many people out as possible. So I understand the heartbreak to those who were not able to get out as the temporary air bridge is closing. We will continue to work with partners, with allies, with regional partners to make sure we’re continuing to do everything we can, both to bring tens of thousands of Afghans with their families to Canada, but also to keep putting pressure on the Taliban to ensure that people can leave Afghanistan and come to Canada. [French 00:23:30].
Speaker 8: (23:40)
Speaker 9: (23:41)
Prime Minister, you’ve called this a difficult day, a heartbreaking day, but the reality is that the Afghan people are facing the prospect of dying. So where is your personal responsibility for this fiasco?
PM Justin Trudeau: (23:56)
We know how incredibly difficult this moment is because Canadians have been working unbelievably hard over these past many weeks. Our Canadian forces, our diplomats, our consular agents to get as many people out as we possibly could. And compared to many of our allies, we’ve done extremely well. 17 flights since the beginning of August, over 3,700 people evacuated, but of course there is much more to do and our commitment continues. We will continue to work in the region. We will continue to put pressure on the Taliban. We’ll ensure that in the coming months and years, we bring over 20,000 Afghans to their new homes in Canada. \.
Speaker 8: (24:45)
Speaker 9: (24:46)
You say there’s more to do, but let’s focus in on the accountability piece for a second. Could more have been done sooner to evacuate more people, specifically the bureaucratic red tape that prevented more people from getting visas and onto flights? Where is the accountability for that piece?
PM Justin Trudeau: (25:03)
I think we all understand that the speed with which the Taliban took over Kabul rendered this an extraordinarily difficult situation for allies, for Canadians, and especially for Afghans. We have been working day and night. 17 flights come out of Afghanistan since the beginning of August, 3,700 people brought out of that country. But of course there is more to do, and we will continue to work with our allies with the closing of this temporary air bridge that was secured by the Americans, but that had a very clear end date. The first phase is perhaps done, but the work will continue in the region by Canada and its allies. [French 00:26:58].
Speaker 8: (26:58)
Jordan Press: (27:00)
Good morning, Prime Minister. Jordan Press with the Canadian Press. I want to ask you another global issue, which is vaccinations because you’ve talked about it so much on the campaign where roughly about 75% of the population fully vaccinated, but there’s parts of the world where less than 5% have received first dose. The World Health Organization is asking for more touring booster shots. Will you agree to that moratorium?
PM Justin Trudeau: (27:19)
On booster shots, on further vaccinations, we will always pay close attention to the recommendations of our public health officials, but the reality is the more Canadians get vaccinated, the more we get that number up, the safer we’ll all be. And the better we’ll be able to make sure we’re ending this pandemic everywhere around the world as well. We already have enough vaccines in the country for every eligible Canadian to get their shot. So those of you who’ve been waiting because you don’t feel your high priority and you need everyone else to get vaccinated, thank you. But now it’s your turn. You need to get vaccinated now so we can get through it. At the same time, Canada has already started donating tens of millions of doses of vaccines to partners around the world because we know that this pandemic doesn’t end anywhere until it ends everywhere.
Speaker 8: (28:21)
Jordan Press: (28:22)
And on today’s announcement, maybe the last time you raised the GIS, you pushed thousands of seniors just barely above the poverty line. So can you explain briefly how roughly $40 extra per month is going to make a material difference in the lives of low-income seniors?
PM Justin Trudeau: (28:38)
Unfortunately, we know that for many, many seniors, every dollar counts, and that’s been particularly clear during this pandemic where our seniors have been unbelievably vulnerable, both to COVID itself, to the isolation they felt, but also with extra costs they’ve had to absorb. That’s why we were there for seniors with a one-time payments to support them through the pandemic, but why we’re also there to increase the guaranteed income supplement by $500 for most vulnerable single seniors and by $750 for the most vulnerable couples. These are the things that will make a difference and lift even more seniors out of poverty then we have over the past years. We’ve reduced poverty among seniors by 20%, since 2015, but there is always more to do. And that’s why today we’re stepping up even further to support our vulnerable seniors and to make life better for everyone
Speaker 8: (29:42)
Corrina Roman: (29:42)
Corrina Roman, CBC News. Yet today, your announcement is for seniors, something that the [inaudible 00:29:50] has been asking for, for a while, Mr. [inaudible 00:29:52] saying, “Please do more for seniors.” Yesterday, it was raising taxes on banks and insurance companies. Something that the NDP had been calling for for a while. Does this not show that a minority parliament can work?
PM Justin Trudeau: (30:05)
It’s actually shows that Canadians understand how important it is to be there for each other. From 2015 onwards, we’ve seen a reduction in poverty for seniors by 20%. we saw a million new jobs created, but also a million people lifted out of poverty in Canada, including over 400,000 kids. We have demonstrated that not only do we have the values that look to help our most vulnerable, but that we’re able to actually deliver. When we raised taxes on the wealthiest 1% so we could lower them for the middle-class, the NDP voted against it. And we will continue to be there concretely delivering for seniors, delivering on housing, delivering on strengthening the fight against climate change, delivering to help Canadians through this pandemic and build a better future for everyone as we have been from the beginning of this pandemic.
Speaker 8: (31:06)
Corrina Roman: (31:06)
When you called this election, there was a lot of speculation that you were doing this to try and get a majority. Do you need a majority to implement the promises you’ve made so far?
PM Justin Trudeau: (31:16)
I think a lot of Canadians are fully aware that this is a really, really pivotal time in the course of our history in our country. During this pandemic, we did huge things to support Canadians, to be there for each other. And they’ve paid off. Our economy is bouncing back quicker. Our pandemic has been less serious than many of our partner countries because Canadians were there for each other. Because different orders of government worked as partners to get us through this.
PM Justin Trudeau: (31:52)
But right now, as we approach the end of this pandemic, there are really big decisions to be made about how to end this pandemic, about how hard to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated, but also about how we move forward even more on fighting climate change, on fighting a climate crisis, on fighting the housing crisis. If there’s one thing that this past experience has taught us all is that governments can do really big things in times of crisis that have a positive impact on people’s lives. And we intend to do more really, really big things to put the same urgency we put to this pandemic to fighting climate change, to investing in fighting the climate crisis, the housing crisis, to moving forward on reconciliation. This is a big choice that Canadians make, and those decisions need to be made by the Canadian government in the coming months. Not a year from now, not two years from now, now. That’s why Canadians deserve to have their say now about how we move forward for everyone.
Speaker 8: (33:02)
PM Justin Trudeau: (33:02)
… move forward for everyone.
Speaker 12: (33:02)
Abigail Beam: (33:03)
Abigail Beam in Global News. We’re asking leaders about climate today. And with the summit in Glasgow just two months away, governments are being called on to adopt more ambitious climate targets if there’s any hope of keeping global temperature increases to one and a half degrees. Are your current promises enough to meet those more ambitious targets by 2030?
PM Justin Trudeau: (33:21)
We have, over the past six years, demonstrated the strongest climate leadership of any government in Canadian history. We brought in a world-leading price on pollution, right across the country and held strongly when certain provinces and conservative politicians wanted us to do less or to scrap it. We continue to step up and lead whether it’s investing in green jobs by transforming steel plants to be electric, whether it’s by investing in wind power production in Gas Bay, whether it’s investing in projects like electric vehicles or electric trucks with Lion Electric Saint-Jérôme.
PM Justin Trudeau: (34:06)
We have continued to do a tremendous amount. But yes, we know there is much more to do. And I’m looking forward to putting forward the next steps in our extraordinarily ambitious plan, not just to lay out targets we’d like to reach, but to show the concrete plan on how we’re going to reduce our emissions and create good jobs and careers for Canadians into the coming years. We are in a climate crisis. It’s going to take even more ambition, yes, but even more ability to deliver. And that’s what our government has shown.
Speaker 10: (34:44)
[foreign language: French 00:34:44].
Abigail Beam: (34:45)
The International Energy Agency is calling for no more oil and gas infrastructure to be built. You bought TMX. Do you commit to finishing that project? And will you rule out building further pipelines if elected?
PM Justin Trudeau: (34:57)
We have demonstrated every step of the way that we know how important it is to transform our approach on energy in this country. As we do that, we will be supporting good jobs and careers for people across the country as we see that transformation. We’ve brought in very ambitious zero-emission vehicle mandates. But at the same time, we know that this country and the world still is heavily reliant on oil and gas. So the way we develop those resources, the way we get the best returns for those resources, while cleaning them as much as possible and pushing innovation is how we get to net zero by 2050, is how we reach our emissions reductions targets. This is the approach that Canadians expect and this is what we will continue to deliver. We understand how to move forward in fighting climate change. And we will continue to do that.
Speaker 10: (35:56)
[foreign language: French 00:35:56].
Speaker 11: (35:57)
[inaudible 00:35:57], CBC. An analysis by Radio-Canada found white men who are political candidates receive 10% more funding from their parties than women, people of color or indigenous people. White men account for half of all candidates, though they represent a third of the population. And most candidates who run in party strongholds are white men. Because it’s no longer 2015, what are you doing to fix this for the liberals?
PM Justin Trudeau: (36:21)
Well, we have demonstrated our commitment to diversity every step of the way as a government. Not just because it’s the moral or the right thing to do, but because we know that leads to better outcomes, as a government, as a House of Commons. That’s why we are so focused on getting extraordinary diversity in our candidates and supporting them to make sure they are able to win. We know that there is a lot more to do. I’ve talked a lot about the fact that when you ask a man to run in politics, their first question is something like, “What took you so long?” Or, “Do I have to wear a tie?” When you ask a woman, her first question is really, ” Do you think I’d be good enough? You think I’d be strong enough?” And even if her CV is way more impressive than any random male candidate.
PM Justin Trudeau: (37:10)
The reality is parties need to take more efforts to support diversity in our candidates, to support those diverse candidates, to be able to win. The liberal party is leading on that. But as always, there is more to do and we are doing it. [foreign language: French 00:37:29]
Speaker 11: (37:48)
Your own candidate [Emmanuel Dubourg 00:37:51] and [Henri Bourassa 00:37:51], he talked about having to hire security and surround themselves with white male volunteers so that people would even open the door for him while he was door knocking. Does that sound like you’re doing enough?
PM Justin Trudeau: (38:06)
We recognize that systemic racism and discrimination continues to exist in our country, that anti-black racism, that anti-Asian racism, that Islamophobia and anti-Semitism is on the rise, partially because of this pandemic, but for other reasons as well. We need to do more. We need to actively continue to take a stand against intolerance in all its forms, and be there to support diverse peoples in positions of leadership. Emmanuel has been a friend for a long time, and I know the barriers that he’s overcome and the leadership he’s shown. And we will continue to work together to build a better Canada, that recognizes diversity as a strength, not a weakness. [foreign language: French 00:39:05].
Speaker 10: (40:12)
[foreign language: French 00:40:12]
Marc Regagnol: (40:12)
[foreign language:French 00:40:09] [Marc Regagnol 00:40:18] [foreign language: French 00:40:41]
PM Justin Trudeau: (40:49)
[foreign language 00:40:49] – [foreign language: French 00:41:50].
Speaker 10: (41:45)
[foreign language: French 00:41:45]
Marc Regagnol: (41:52)
[foreign language: French 00:41:52]
PM Justin Trudeau: (42:25)
[foreign language: French 00:42:25] – [foreign language: French 00:43:28]