Apr 29, 2020
Justin Trudeau Canada COVID-19 Press Conference April 29
Full transcript of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s April 29 coronavirus press conference for Canada. Trudeau explained how Canada is handling COVID-19 issues at meat plants, emphasizing worker safety. Read his full updates here.
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Justin Trudeau: (00:07)
Hello everyone. [Foreign Language 00:00:08].
Justin Trudeau: (01:48)
If you can’t find a job this summer but want to contribute in the fight against COVID-19, we’re going to make sure you have support too. Students helping in the fight against covert 19 this summer will soon be eligible for a thousand dollars to $5,000 through the new Canada student service grant for volunteer hours.
Justin Trudeau: (02:07)
We’re also going to be providing specific support for first nations Inuit and needy nation students. For graduate students and those conducting research, we’re going to extend scholarships, fellowships, and grants so your work can continue, and we’re doubling student grants for low and middle income students for 2020, 2021.
Justin Trudeau: (02:31)
Taken together, our government has a $9 billion plan to help students and recent grads get through the next few months. Since we introduced this plan, we’ve been working with the opposition parties on legislation that will get this help to young people as quickly as possible. I’ll be heading to parliament shortly where we will introduce a Bill to put the Canada Emergency Student Benefit in place. [Foreign Language 00:02:58]
Justin Trudeau: (03:43)
The pandemic has been hard on everyone and that’s why our government is stepping up to support you. To help parents who’ve got their hands full these days, our government will be boosting the CCB payment in May. And to help lower income Canadians, we supplemented the GST credit.
Justin Trudeau: (04:02)
I also want to remind everyone that this year if you owe income tax, you have until August to make your payment. Yesterday, minister Highdo and Dr. Tam provided an update on our latest modeling. And the good news is that Canadians are stepping up to keep each other safe. In fact, in many parts of the country, the curve has flattened so we have to keep it up. We’re seeing some progress because people from coast to coast to coast are making sacrifices and following public health rules, so let’s stick to it. Let’s stay home, wash our hands and when we go out, let’s stay two meters away from others.
Justin Trudeau: (04:45)
Starting this weekend in Nova Scotia, the Canadian forces, Snowbirds will head across Canada to salute Canadians doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. As we watch the Snowbirds fly over our homes, let’s remember that we’re all in this together. Happy to take your questions now.
Speaker 2: (05:09)
[Foreign Language 00:05:06].
Speaker 3: (05:15)
Thank you. [Foreign Language 00:05:17]. First question, Stephanie, the Canadian Press, line open.
Good morning, prime minister. Why aren’t there measurable targets and standards attached to the national guidelines for lifting restrictions, the guidelines that were released yesterday so that people can be confident, the decisions that are being made based on science rather than other considerations.
Justin Trudeau: (05:39)
We worked very hard with the premiers across the country to ensure that we could get guidelines that reflected the foundational science and the best advice given by medical experts and scientists on what needed to be in place before provinces or regions could think about reopening.
Justin Trudeau: (06:00)
Every region, every provinces, every territory is facing a very different situation right now with different industries, different size cities, and different spread of COVID-19, that’s why we needed to make sure that the foundational elements were there, that we could all follow as Canadians. But recognize that different jurisdictions will act differently, but there is a common desire right across the country from all premiers to ensure that we’re doing this right. Everyone understands that the danger of opening up too quickly or the wrong way could mean we come back into this situation where we are right now and nobody wants that. So we’re going to keep moving forward responsibly according to the guidelines.
Speaker 2: (07:07)
[Foreign Language 00:06:49].
Speaker 3: (07:17)
[Foreign Language 00:06:53] Thank you. [Foreign Language 00:06:53].
Speaker 5: (07:19)
[Foreign Language 00:07:05].
Justin Trudeau: (08:46)
[Foreign Language 00:07:31]. We are continuing to engage with various sectors, industries, and organizations who are facing disruptions because of COVID-19. The CFL has approached us about support. We know it’s important to them, we know it’s important to many Canadians and those discussions are ongoing.
Speaker 2: (09:11)
[Foreign Language 00:09:12].
Speaker 6: (09:11)
[Foreign Language 00:09:16]. Thank you. [Foreign Language 00:09:18].
Speaker 7: (09:11)
[Foreign Language 00:09:24].
Justin Trudeau: (09:11)
[Foreign Language 00:10:04].
Speaker 3: (11:09)
Thank you. Next question. Kelsey Johnson, Reuters, line open.
Kelsey Johnson: (11:15)
Thank you prime minister for taking my question. I’m wondering, is Canada considering mandating meat plants to stay open like the US president Donald Trump has done?
Justin Trudeau: (11:26)
We understand how important it is to ensure the supply of food to Canadians right across the country, and we’re watching with interest and concern, some of the issues facing meat producers and the supply chain across the agricultural industry.
Justin Trudeau: (11:47)
We need to make sure that those supply chains can keep functioning, but we also need to make sure that the people who work in those supply chains and will continue to need to work in difficult circumstances over the coming weeks and months as we continue to battle COVID- 19 are kept safe. The priority for us is both things, keeping people safe and ensuring a good supply of food to Canadians. We will make sure we’re doing them both together. [Foreign Language 00:12:16]
Molly Thomas: (12:48)
Hi, prime minister. Molly Thomas CTV National News. I just want to follow up on my colleague on the phone. A few weeks ago you said you weren’t worried about food shortages. Right now we have McDonald’s not able to rely on Canadian beef and we’re not even talking about smaller restaurants or burger joints out there trying to stay alive. What is your specific plan when it comes to the beef industry and are you bracing for other hits in the food industry?
Justin Trudeau: (13:09)
We know that this pandemic is unprecedented and its impacts are far reaching on our daily lives, on many different industries. We are working very closely with the agricultural industry to ensure that people get good healthy food, particularly as we embark upon the summer where there will be a need and an ability to get lots of fresh vegetables and produce from across the country.
Justin Trudeau: (13:36)
We need to ensure that we’re able to provide for that. We’re working with provinces, we’re working with the sector. Agricultural Canada is very much on this issue. We need to continue to stay vigilant because of the large disruptions across many different sectors in our country, including obviously agriculture.
Justin Trudeau: (13:57)
[Foreign Language 00:13:56]
Janet Silver: (14:05)
Prime minister, Janet Silver, Global News. Just to follow on that, given that meat inspected by provincial meat. inspectors can only be sold in that province, whereas meat inspected by federal inspectors can be sold nationwide. I’m wondering if you’re looking at easing restrictions so that meat inspected by provincial inspectors can be sold nationwide.
Justin Trudeau: (14:49)
I think we’re open to all sorts of flexibility, ensuring that we can keep Canadians safe right across the country, but recognize that we are in a difficult situation. But I understand that the priority or the preoccupation and the challenges we’re facing isn’t as much around safety of the food produced, which continues to be insured, but the safety of the workers working in those plants because of COVID-19 and that is something that requires a little more work and a little more coordination to ensure that we’re keeping those workers safe and not just the food safe, which is always a priority for us all.
Good morning, prime minister, Slimish of GCBC. I want to go back to the federal guidelines for reopening. You talked about a common desire to get this right. Ottawa and the provinces have agreed on this criteria that actually talks about provinces needing to have support for human resources, support for vulnerable people, enough healthcare capacity. Do you think provinces that are pleading for volunteers and calling on the military to help meet that criteria?
Justin Trudeau: (15:56)
These are not federal guidelines only. These are federal provincial guidelines. We worked together, and I think it’s something that we need to highlight because it’s not often in this Federation that the provinces and the federal government can come together as collaboratively as we have, not just on this particular issue but over the past weeks and working with common goals and common desires to keep Canadians safe. And it really is something to note and to celebrate about Canadians, that we are working together so effectively.
Justin Trudeau: (16:31)
Provinces have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of their citizens while they look at reopening. And we are comfortable that these guidelines lay out a roadmap that everyone can follow the principles that will allow them to put in the measures that will keep their citizens safe while looking at reopening various parts of the economy carefully.
Justin Trudeau: (16:56)
[Foreign Language 00:16:56].
Speaker 13: (16:57)
[Foreign Language 00:18:02].
Justin Trudeau: (19:35)
[Foreign Language 00:18:24]. I think it’s a really important question as to how we can ensure the privacy and data security of Canadians in this situation where we might have to look at new measures in terms of contact tracing and apps that provide more information.
Justin Trudeau: (20:01)
Getting that balance right will be extremely important. We’ve seen different countries around the world with different approaches to personal privacy, try different things. We have a number of proposals and companies working on different models that might be applicable to Canada. But as we move forward on taking decisions, we’re going to keep in mind that Canadians put a very high value on their privacy, on their data security, and we need to make sure we respect that even in a time of emergency measures and significant difficulty and crisis. We’re going to get that balance right, there are possibilities around using voluntary measures around other things, but every step of the way, we will hold true to the values that means so much to Canadians around privacy and security. These are things that people expect from their governments, and that’s what we will stay focused on…
Speaker 2: (20:54)
[Foreign Language 00:20:54].
Justin Trudeau: (20:57)
[Foreign Language 00:20:59]