Apr 2, 2020
Justin Trudeau Canada COVID-19 Briefind Transcript April 2
Justin Trudeau: (00:00)
… weeks in the face of an unprecedented challenge. We’ve seen all levels of government cooperating on a response. And going forward that collaboration will become even more important. We will be there to support the provinces and territories with whatever they need. This includes sending personal protective equipment and other supports for the healthcare system. Last night we received a shipment of over a million masks to a Hamilton warehouse. I know that people there have been working overnight to validate these supplies. This is in addition to the 10 million masks that have come in over the last days and are being distributed to the provinces and territories as quickly as possible. And this Team Canada effort goes beyond the government.
Justin Trudeau: (00:50)
About two weeks ago we launched Canada’s plan to mobilize industry to fight COVID-19. Since then, we’ve spoken to almost 3000 companies helping us secure millions of pieces of vital equipment. And I want to share a quintessentially Canadian example of this collaboration. Our government has ordered hundreds of thousands of face shields from Bauer, the people who make hockey gear. They’re creating shields to protect nurses and doctors against COVID-19. This is exactly the kind of innovative, collaborative thinking we need right now, and I know we’re going to see more of it in the coming days.
Justin Trudeau: (01:32)
Justin Trudeau: (01:59)
In our conversation tonight, the Premiers and I will also discuss our continued coordination and sharing of data and modeling. We need to work together to know what’s needed, where and when, for communities right across the country. Provinces have been making significant progress on testing backlogs, which is giving experts important data to analyze. And we’re constantly getting and validating more data. That means we can share more information with you. You can go to Canada.ca/Coronavirus for the latest information about cases, growth, and spread.
Justin Trudeau: (02:39)
But I know a lot of people are still wondering when this will get better or how much worse it might become. You want to see the numbers and the predictions. You want to wake up in the morning and look online for the latest, more credible data you can find. You want to plan. You want to prepare for the worst, you want to know what to be hopeful about. I know. And we’ll have more information keeping coming to you with it soon.
Justin Trudeau: (03:09)
But the biggest variable in shaping these projections is you and your behavior. You must listen to the world class doctors who are already sharing the best available information and advice. Ignoring them puts lives at risk. It’s up to you to do the right thing. While many of you are staying home and limiting trips to the grocery store, too many still aren’t. What the experts are telling us is that we must do everything we can today and tomorrow to set us on the right path for next week and next month. It takes time for the effects of our actions to be felt, so if we don’t want our hospitals to be overwhelmed, so if we don’t want our hospitals to be overwhelmed in the coming weeks, we need to make the right choices and we need to make them now.
Justin Trudeau: (04:06)
Our public healthcare system is strong, and our healthcare professionals are remarkable. But they’re facing a threat. If every single one of us steps up right now, we can help them. If you listen to doctors, if you stay home, if you stay away from other people, we won’t overwhelm our hospitals. We will protect our doctors and nurses. We will protect our friends and neighbors. It’s going to take distancing and to time to flatten the curve, but that’s how we’ll get through this. So let’s save lives together by staying apart. We’ll keep working around the clock to get you the help you need to do. Just that.
Justin Trudeau: (04:57)
[French 00:04: 57]. I want you to know that we’re giving this fight everything we’ve got. Just yesterday, we announced the biggest economic measures in our lifetime. Governments of all orders are organizing the most significant civic mobilization since World War II. Doctors and nurses, truckers and air cargo operators are scaling up operations to levels we’ve never seen before in our history. But here’s the truth. None of that will be enough without your help.
Justin Trudeau: (06:08)
Speaker 1: (06:11)
Speaker 2: (06:18)
Thank you, [French 00:07:12].
Speaker 3: (06:18)
Justin Trudeau: (08:03)
[ French 00:07:43].
Justin Trudeau: (08:03)
[French 00:00:01] Canada. I’ve heard reports on this issue, and of course they’re concerning. We need to make sure that equipment that is destined for Canada gets to and stays in Canada. And I’ve asked ministers to follow up on these particular reports. We are working not just here at home, but overseas as well to ensure that the equipment that Canada has ordered, makes its way to Canada.
Speaker 4: (09:13)
Justin Trudeau: (09:17)
Speaker 5: (09:17)
Speaker 6: (09:21)
Thank you. The next question, Alex Ballingall, Toronto Star. Line open.
Alex Ballingall: (09:29)
Morning Prime Minister. You mentioned getting more information on the numbers and predictions soon. What does soon mean, and what information specifically are you referring to?
Justin Trudeau: (09:40)
I think first of all, we can highlight that there has been tremendous transparency on the raw data, on the numbers, on the numbers of cases on where they are, and we’re of course adding to and collaborating closely with the provinces on making sure that those numbers get out there. The question of analysis of those numbers is the next question. People want to know what the model is, how long they’re likely to be in this situation, when kids can see their friends again, when we’re going to be through this phase and get back to work. Those analyses depend directly on Canadians’ behaviors. They depend on whether or not people follow the rules around social distancing, around staying two meters apart, around isolation, about not going out for groceries more than once a week if you can. These kinds of things will have a direct impact on which of the various models that are out there will be the one we take, and we’re going to continue to work on those analyses. We’re going to continue to crunch the data and numbers, and we’re going to continue to be open with Canadians about those expectations.
Justin Trudeau: (10:52)
Alex Ballingall: (11:57)
Just as a followup, you yourself a couple of days ago described some of the scenarios as fairly dire. Why is it that you can’t release the projections that you have now? The range of scenarios that you’ve talked about from things working to things being fairly dire.
Justin Trudeau: (12:13)
I think people can imagine a range of scenarios that shows everything from everyone gets suddenly better within the next few weeks, to this situation just keeps getting worse, and we face a situation like some other countries in the most dire situations have. There is a range out there, and just highlighting that range is not as useful or important as being able to get clearer numbers, and clearer analysis of what we are likely to face. But everything that we are going to face will be directly linked to how people behave today. And that is why it is so important that people stay home, that they continue with the social distancing, continue keeping two meters apart, continue to look to minimize their movements as much as possible, so that we can get through this in the best shape possible.
Justin Trudeau: (13:22)
Speaker 4: (13:24)
[French 00: 05:57].
Speaker 6: (13:44)
Thank you. [French 00:14:04].
Speaker 7: (13:45)
Justin Trudeau: (13:45)
Speaker 6: (13:45)
Justin Trudeau: (13:45)
Justin Trudeau: (16:00)
Speaker 8: (16:07)
Speaker 9: (16:29)
Thank you. Next question, Mia Rabson, the Canadian Press. Line open.
Mia Rabson: (16:37)
Good morning. I’m wondering if you could explain to us, if you’re not going to tell us what those analysis now say yet, can you tell us what metrics are going into those analysis? What are the key things that you’re asking to be told about that is guiding your decision making right now?
Justin Trudeau: (16:50)
Well, we’ve been working with the provinces on is ensuring that we have the best possible data. We’ve seen over the past days, there’s been a lot of clearing of the backlog in testing in a number of different places that is giving us more accurate images on how COVID-19 is spreading, on where it’s spreading, on how it’s being transmitted and on how the measures that we’re bringing into place are working.
Justin Trudeau: (17:15)
I’ll be speaking tonight with the Premiers about this data, about the modeling and analysis that’s going on and we look forward to being able to share more information soon. Go ahead, Mia.
Mia Rabson: (17:31)
I’m also wondering if you’re talking about Canadians not staying home, that some are but there are still too many that are not. Does Canada have the ability and would you consider using that ability to issue in national mandatory state home order?
Justin Trudeau: (17:45)
That would be part of the Emergency Measures Act that could be brought in. At this point, we’ve been working very closely with the provinces, who themselves have more measures that they have the ability to put in. We’ve seen certain provinces bringing in more and more stiff measures.
Justin Trudeau: (18:04)
We will continue to work with them and the Federal Emergency Measures Act really becomes necessary once provinces have exhausted all their significant powers under the Emergencies Act and we’re not quite yet at that point.
Oliva Stefanovich: (18:22)
Good morning. Prime minister, Olivia Stefanovich, CBC News. Other countries have been able to release detailed modeling. For example, New Zealand is projecting a 65% infection rate for its population, a 1% fatality rate and also a 20% fatality rate for its elderly may worry people, so I’m wondering why your government can’t release the modeling you have in your possession right now to help Canadians prepare and to also make sure that Canadians keep following the rules.
Oliva Stefanovich: (18:48)
What’s stopping you from releasing this information right now?
Justin Trudeau: (18:51)
One of the things that we’ll be talking about tonight with the Premiers is how to make sure that all our various sources of data are aligned so that we can get more accurate models. How we make sure that the analysis that we apply to the data that’s coming in that’s being published daily, so Canadians can see it actually makes sense and reflects what’s going to happen in Canada, what’s going to happen in various regions across the country, which it will be different from what happens in other countries around the world.
Justin Trudeau: (19:21)
That is sophisticated modeling work that’s being worked on right now that is ongoing and we look forward to sharing more with Canadians in the coming days.
Oliva Stefanovich: (19:31)
What are your government’s plans for returning cruise ship passengers from Florida? How will they get home? Will they be quarantined or allowed to self isolate at home?
Justin Trudeau: (19:39)
Anyone who returns from overseas needs to be quarantined for 14 days, needs to be isolated, so that they do not spread a COVID-19 in the population.
Justin Trudeau: (19:52)
We’ve received many, many Canadians who’ve returned home over the past couple of weeks. There are still a few more to come, but far less than have already come and those people have been isolating. We’ve been asking people to make sure that they don’t stop in at the grocery store on the way home from the airport, that they go straight home, that they isolate, that they understand they pose a real risk not just to their neighbors and their loved ones but to our entire country.
Justin Trudeau: (20:19)
We need to ensure and we will ensure that those people are properly isolated.
Oliva Stefanovich: (20:24)
Respectfully, the question was about these passengers specifically from Florida. How are they going to be getting home and will they be quarantines more specifically or just asked to go home?
Justin Trudeau: (20:34)
My understanding is they will be a flown home on a charter flight but we are still looking for those details and we will ensure that they are isolated when they get home.
Justin Trudeau: (20:54)
Janet Silver: (20:58)
Prime Minister, Janet Silver, Global News. Just to go back on the modeling numbers, the data. Why not release the numbers now if we’re really trying to get Canadians to understand the difference that their behavior makes. Given the warm weather given, people want to go outside, why not release the numbers now so that they really understand just how much of an impact their behavior will make.
Justin Trudeau: (21:21)
We have been releasing numbers, we’ve been releasing the data regularly. We’re improving the quality of the data. We’re coordinating with the provinces to make sure that the data is consistent right across the country and that is the number is that we are putting through into various models and as we get those models more accurate, we look forward to sharing them with Canadians.
Janet Silver: (21:45)
Just to switch gears now on China. US intelligent reports reveal that China concealed the degree and the severity of the outbreak.
Janet Silver: (21:54)
I’m just wondering, does Canada have the similar intelligence and in the past we have said that we trust China and their information?
Janet Silver: (22:02)
Do we still trust China and their information?
Justin Trudeau: (22:04)
We know that countries around the world have been sharing information with each other on their cases and on what has been effective in terms of measures. We’ve learned a lot from South Korea, Singapore, and other countries. We’ve learned unfortunately a lot from Italy, as well in terms of what worked and what didn’t work there.
Justin Trudeau: (22:23)
We need to can keep learning from other countries, but we also need to be really thoughtful about how we process and understand that information. Obviously there’ll be many, many questions as this is all worked through over the coming months and indeed years on how this was handled, what lessons are taken, who did well, who didn’t do as well and who was perhaps not as forthcoming with the global community as they should have been.
Justin Trudeau: (22:53)
Those are questions though for future times. Our focus right now is on getting through this in a way that keeps Canadians whole and safe.
Justin Trudeau: (23:03)
Molly Thomas: (23:41)
Hi, Prime Minister, Molly Thomas CTV National News.
Molly Thomas: (23:44)
The Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives released new numbers today that said over eight hundred thousand Canadians will get no income support during this time. These are people that were unemployed or looking for work before the crisis. Of course, they don’t qualify for EI, they’re not going to get that emergency benefit.
Molly Thomas: (23:58)
Are you looking at anything to help these people?
Justin Trudeau: (24:01)
Yes, absolutely. We’re looking at ways to help.
Justin Trudeau: (24:03)
Yes, absolutely. We’re looking at ways to help everyone in Canada that needs it. The two measures we put forward, the wage subsidy through employers and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will help millions of Canadians but we know that there are many vulnerable people who won’t be able to access this support, who will need extra help.
Justin Trudeau: (24:23)
We’re making sure that we’re flowing funds through shelters, through nonprofits and charitable organizations as well, but there will always be more to do to make sure that everyone, particularly our most vulnerable, are able to keep themselves safe and keep our communities safe by being able to do the right things and have the support.
Justin Trudeau: (25:14)
[ French 00:00:45].
Speaker 10: (25:21)
Prime Minister, we know that Atlanta, Canada provinces have blocked entry of people from outside their provinces to keep people safe. Of course, Quebec now has police checkpoints along the Ontario border.
Speaker 10: (25:32)
If you enacted the Emergency Act, obviously this could all be uniform in line across the country, so should we be locking down each province in lieu of that?
Justin Trudeau: (25:39)
I think every province is going to look at what its own needs are. The Northern territories, for example, brought in very strong measures much earlier on than anyone else because they recognize the extreme vulnerability of remote Northern populations to an infectious disease like this one. Every different provinces looking at what measures it needs to take and the federal government will provide the support to all provinces that need our support as we move forward.
Justin Trudeau: (26:09)
Yes, there is a Federal Emergency Act that we can bring in but as I said, the moment to bring that in is really when there are things that the provinces and Canadians need to see done that can’t be done by the provinces and we will continue to work very, very closely with the provinces and all jurisdictions to ensure that the tools that everyone has a different levels are used as they need to be.
Speaker 11: (26:35)
Justin Trudeau: (26:35)
Speaker 11: (26:35)
Justin Trudeau: (27:58)
[French 00: 03:51].
Justin Trudeau: (28:07)
You noticed I might’ve cleared my throat a couple of times today. There is absolutely nothing to worry about. I have no symptoms of COVID. It perhaps means that I should get back to wearing my scarf, even though it’s nice and sunny out this morning, But thank you all for your concern.
Justin Trudeau: (28:22)
I’m doing just fine.