Apr 6, 2020

Justin Trudeau Canada COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 6

Justin Trudeau April 6 Briefing
RevBlogTranscriptsPolitical TranscriptsJustin Trudeau Canada COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 6

Justin Trudeau held a coronavirus briefing today, April 6. Trudeau promised more Canadians COVID-19 benefit coverage for those who do not qualify. Read the full transcript of the press conference here.

 

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Justin Trudeau: (02:09)
(silence). [foreign language 00:02: 09]. I want to start this morning by recognizing today is a painful anniversary. It has now been two years since the tragic Humboldt Broncos crash. From coast to coast to coast, we remember the 16 lives that ended much too soon and the many more that were changed forever. If you lost a friend, a teammate or a loved one, if you’re still rebuilding and recovering, I want you to know that we’re here for you. We will always be here for you. You, the community of Humboldt, along with all Canadians who stand with you, have shown incredible strength and resilience, and just like the people putting out hockey sticks or wearing the jersey, you remind us that together we can get through even the darkest of times. Right now, as we face a challenge unlike any other, we lean on our friends and family, and we let them know that they can lean on us too.

Justin Trudeau: (03:15)
The weeks and months ahead won’t be easy, but we’re going to get through this together. I’m sure many of you watched the Queen’s address yesterday afternoon and her message of unity and resolve is more important than ever. No one should feel alone in this. No one should wonder how they’ll weather this storm without support. Over the past few weeks, we’ve brought in a whole range of new measures to help families and workers, seniors, and business owners get through this. Taken together, we’ve introduced the biggest economic measures in our lifetime, which will help millions of people. That includes the Canada emergency response benefit for if you’ve lost your paycheck. Whether you’re taking care of someone who’s sick, have been laid off or are living with a disability, the CERB is there for you. This benefit is now available starting today. If you’re born in January, February or March, you can go to canada.ca and apply online.

Justin Trudeau: (04:23)
If you can’t apply online, don’t worry. You can call +1 800-959-2041. Since it opened this morning, 240,000 people have already successfully applied. For everyone else, you’ll be able to apply another day this week depending on your birth month. We know you need the support as soon as possible. We have to make sure this system works for everyone. If you’re using direct deposit, you’ll receive money three to five days later. The CERB is meant to help all Canadians who need it, and millions of Canadians will be getting it starting this week. There are some people who don’t yet qualify who we do need to help. If you’re working reduced hours, down to 10 hours a week or less, we will soon announce how you will be able to qualify for the CERB. This is to help you if you’re a gig worker, a contract worker, or a volunteer firefighter. We’ll also have more to say for those who are working but making less than they would with the benefit. I’m thinking in particular of home care workers or longterm care workers looking after vulnerable seniors, and I know there are also lots of university or college students wondering what kind of job you’ll get this summer. You need support now and work is underway to get it to you as soon as possible for people in all of these situations. We see you, we’re going to be there for you, and we’re working as hard as we can to get you the support you need. At the same time, we also announced a new 75% wage subsidy to help you keep your job and help businesses keep their employees on the payroll. Right now we’re drafting legislation and talking to other parties ahead of bringing parliament back to put the wage subsidy in place as quickly as possible, supporting you and your family is our top priority.

Justin Trudeau: (06:37)
Your minister of finance, Bill Moorno, will have more updates soon, but here’s the bottom line. Whatever your situation, we are working to get you the help you need. [ foreign language 00:06:55]. The decision of the six major banks and of certain credit unions to cut credit card interest rates almost in half for people in financial difficulty because of the pandemic will give them much needed relief on debt. I also want to thank Minister Moorno for his outstanding leadership on this, and we need to see even more action like this going forward because this is a time to think about each other, not about the bottom line. On that note, I want to recognize the new initiative the Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched in partnership with our government. The Canadian Business Resilience Network will help businesses of all sizes get through this tough period … Not just get through this tough period, but drive our economic recovery afterwards. This builds on what we’ve already done to help business owners.

Justin Trudeau: (10:03)
We have a three point economic plan. It supports business owners, including through new loans, while safeguarding jobs with a wage subsidy, and helping those who no longer have a paycheck with the CERB. We’re here for you.

Justin Trudeau: (10:21)
In order to get through this and keep our loved ones and our frontline workers safe, all Canadians need to do their part. Don’t forget that you are shaping our future today. What the next weeks and months look like depends on you. It depends on whether you stay home, whether you help protect the vulnerable and make sure our hospitals aren’t overwhelmed.

Justin Trudeau: (10:43)
[foreign language 00:00:46].

Speaker 1: (10:49)
[foreign language 00:00:11:23].

Speaker 2: (10:50)
Thank you. [foreign language 00:01:31] The first question, Alex Ballingall, Toronto Star. Line is open.

Alex Ballingall: (11:38)
Good morning, Prime Minister. Premier Ford in Ontario reportedly told to the news this morning that Ontario could run out of the personal protective equipment within a week and that the US had stopped a shipment of equipment last night. I’m wondering what your reaction to that is, that impending shortage in Ontario and can you tell us if the US has actually stopped any shipments of goods into Canada?

Justin Trudeau: (12:04)
We are working very closely with all provinces and monitoring the levels of personal protective equipment and the challenges they’re facing both on procurement and on making sure that our health officials, healthcare workers across the country get the kind of help that they need. We continue to have productive and positive conversations with the United States, emphasizing for them that healthcare supplies and workers across the border are very much a two way street and we need to continue to enable us to be there for our neighbors because it’s in our collective interest. Minister Champagne had a good conversation with secretary Pompeo this morning. Those conversations are continuing and we expect those supplies to be delivered.

Justin Trudeau: (12:54)
[foreign language 00:02:55]

Speaker 1: (13:18)
Follow up question?

Alex Ballingall: (13:45)
I guess just to repeat that question on has there been any shipments that have been stopped that we were expecting to get, and have you received any assurances from the Americans that they will allow these to go through?

Justin Trudeau: (13:56)
As I said, there are very productive conversations ongoing and we expect those shipments to be delivered.

Speaker 1: (14:06)
Thank you. Next question.

Speaker 2: (14:09)
Thank you. [foreign language 00:14:07] Next question, Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press. Line is open.

Jim Bronskill: (14:16)
Good morning. We’re wondering if you can update us on any of the efforts to ensure that people are quarantined who need to be quarantined. Do you have anything to tell us today about whether anyone has been quarantined and if so, are there any numbers on that score? Thank you.

Justin Trudeau: (14:36)
Anyone returning to Canada is subject to a mandatory quarantine order. That means they have to go straight home from the airport and stay home for 14 days. Public health officials are following up with a number of those people, particularly some of the higher risk or challenging cases. We are confident that Canadians right across the country are obeying the quarantine orders and making sure that they’re doing everything they need to do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

Speaker 1: (15:09)
Follow up question?

Jim Bronskill: (15:12)
Is there any sense, beyond the normal quarantine procedures, whether the quarantine act has been invoked in special cases and people have actually been forced into quarantine in centers or other locations under the quarantine act?

Justin Trudeau: (15:31)
From the very beginning, there was a number of measures that we took on returning flights from Wuhan, for example, on flights coming back from various cruises, where we had mandatory quarantines in centers. We have facilities available for people who are returning to Canada and for various reasons cannot quarantine themselves at home, or home is too far from the airport. That is why we have institutions in place and those are being used.

Speaker 1: (16:01)
[foreign language 00:16:03]

Speaker 2: (16:01)
Thank you. [foreign language 00:16:06]

Speaker 3: (16:01)
[foreign language 00:16:12].

Justin Trudeau: (16:01)
[foreign language 00:16:26].

Speaker 1: (16:01)
[foreign language 00:17:08].

Speaker 3: (16:01)
[foreign language 00:17:08].

Justin Trudeau: (16:01)
[foreign language 00:17:25].

Speaker 1: (16:01)
[foreign language 00:18:16].

Speaker 2: (16:01)
Thank you. [foreign language 00:18:19]

Speaker 4: (16:01)
[foreign language 00:18:36]

Justin Trudeau: (16:01)
[foreign language 00:18:50].

Speaker 4: (16:01)
[foreign language 00:19:59]

Speaker 5: (20:00)
[French 00:00:04].

Justin Trudeau: (20:24)
[French 00:00:21]. I think it’s really important that we continue to strengthen our democracy even during a crisis, especially during a crisis. That’s why I’m looking forward to seeing Parliament reconvene in a reduced state in the coming days to be able to pass important legislation that’s going to get wage subsidies out to employers, so people can continue to hold their jobs even in this time where very few people are working.

Justin Trudeau: (21:23)
But more than that, we have to look at ways of virtually convening Parliament so that Parliamentarians from across the country, who were elected to do their jobs of representing their citizens in normal times and in times of crisis, can make themselves heard. It can’t be just about folks who have proximity to Parliament or the ability to get here. We need to look at ways that our democracy and our institutions can stay strong and embody and fulfill the functions that Canadians need them to. That’s why I’m very much looking forward to discussions with other parties and experts on how we can continue with our institutions even in this difficult time.

Speaker 6: (22:13)
[French 00:02:09].

Justin Trudeau: (23:26)
[ French 00:02: 34].

Justin Trudeau: (24:02)
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is there to help millions of Canadians. We’ve moved quickly on it to try and help as many people as we possibly can as quickly as possible, and that’s rolling out today.

Justin Trudeau: (24:16)
But at the same time we recognize that there are groups of people who aren’t benefiting from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit who probably should. I think specifically of people who’ve seen their hours reduced massively down to 10 hours a week or less, maybe making a total of $500 a month, who are in a precarious situation who really would and should benefit from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. So we’re going to be announcing in the coming days how people in that situation will be able to apply and receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Justin Trudeau: (24:55)
I think of other groups of people, perhaps people working in longterm care facilities or seniors residences, who do extremely important work, particularly these days, but who actually don’t make as much per month as they would if they had lost their job and were receiving the response benefit. That’s why we’re looking carefully at how we can increase their pay a little bit so that they do better off remaining at work rather going off work and receiving the Emergency Response Benefit. These are fine tunings that we knew we would have to do because in any program you’re trying to help as many people as possible. There will be exceptions that we have to fill and we’re going to keep working to make sure that we get this right and get everyone the help they need.

Speaker 7: (26:06)
[ French 00:05:48].

Justin Trudeau: (27:28)
[French 00:06: 12].

Tom Parry: (27:33)
Hi, Prime Minister Tom Parry with CBC. I just want to return to that City News report about the shipment of masks. Did the United States block that shipment of masks to Canada? Are you aware of any other shipments that have been delayed or blocked? And you said that you expect the shipment to arrive. If it doesn’t, what are you going to do?

Justin Trudeau: (27:50)
Okay. We continue to have constructive and productive conversations with officials in the American administration who understand that essential services and supplies are very much a two way street between Canada and the United States. We are interconnected and interlinked in so many ways, from primary resources flowing to American companies to make the equipment that is so desperately needed both in North America and around the world, to actual shipments of products that go from Canada to the United States, that go from United States to Canada. We will continue to work together. We’re going to make sure that goods and services that are essential continue to flow and I expect those shipments to come in soon. Okay.

Justin Trudeau: (28:38)
[French 00:08:40].

Tom Parry: (28:58)
I’d like to ask you about masks. The Center for Disease Control in the United States is recommending that people wear masks when they go out in public. Canada hasn’t gone that far. Why is there a reluctance on Canada’s part to make that kind of recommendation, given that some healthcare experts say it’s a good idea?

Justin Trudeau: (29:14)
I’m not going to make a health recommendations to people. I don’t think politicians should be opining on health solutions or fixes. I know that Dr. Tam is going to be sharing new reflections on masks in less than an hour now, and I encourage people to continue to listen to her and to health experts and professionals on how best we can keep ourselves safe, how best we can keep our loved one’s safe, how best we can keep our healthcare workers safe. At this time.

Bryan Mullan: (29:48)
Bryan Mullan, Global News. Prime Minister, some of the countries that have had the most success flattening the curve, such as Germany, attribute that to testing. So why aren’t we doing more testing? Is it lack of people to administer the tests, lack of testing kits, or a lack of resources?

Justin Trudeau: (30:02)
Every single day we are doing-

Justin Trudeau: (30:03)
more tests than the day before. We recognize that large scale testing is a key element of flattening the curve and dealing with the longterm prognosis of this pandemic. We will need to continue to test more and more, to get those answers back quickly, and be able to monitor the spread of coronavirus through our population. That’s why we’re continuing to do more tests. That’s why we’re creating more test kits. That’s why we’re continuing to develop new solutions on testing. Testing will be an essential part of how we get through this new.

Justin Trudeau: (30:41)
[French language 00:00:44]

Speaker 8: (31:02)
When will the testing kits purchased by the government be delivered to the provinces so the testing can ramp up?

Justin Trudeau: (31:15)
Oh, we’ve already had deliveries of testing kits and we will continue to deliver more and more testing kits from around the world, from companies in Canada that are developing them. We know there’s a need for more testing kits and that’s what we’re working on.

Kevin Gallagher: (31:31)
Prime Minister, Kevin Gallagher with CTV National News. We’re hearing that healthcare professionals, nurses, doctors are being told by hospitals on border towns, specifically Windsor and Sioux Ste. Marie, they have to choose between which institutions they’re going to work at. They can’t work both in the United States and in Canada. Should Canadian healthcare professionals now have to make that choice to reduce the rate and potential contamination of cross border work that they might do? Should they choose to either work in Canada or the United States?

Justin Trudeau: (32:01)
Provincial premiers and mayors are making extremely difficult decisions and are choosing to do the right things to both protect their own citizens, their own communities, and continue to help our neighbors. We need to get that balance right and it is going to require some difficult choices. But we know that an essential part of this path forward is not just keeping Canadian safe, which needs to be our top priority, but also helping the world deal with this global crisis and that’s what everyone’s trying to do.

Justin Trudeau: (32:56)
[French language 00:02: 34]

Kevin Gallagher: (33:03)
Okay. I didn’t really get an answer to that question specifically, but I need to move on because there’s another answer here that we’re looking for. From this report that Premier Ford’s talking about with this ship that was blocked yesterday. Are you aware of shipments of personal equipment, for protecting medical personnel or any other type of shipment, that has been blocked by the United States?

Justin Trudeau: (33:31)
We have recognized over the past weeks a number of situations in which shipments coming from different countries around the world have been delayed, haven’t arrived with as many products as we were hoping to see. This continues to be an ongoing problem, but specifically with the United States, we are working with them to ensure that the orders that Canada has placed get delivered. We expect those shipments to come.

Justin Trudeau: (33:57)
[French language 00:03:59]