Jun 19, 2020
Justin Trudeau Canada Press Conference Transcript June 19
Full transcript of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s June 19 press briefing. Trudeau said “Everything is being done” & he is pushing China after 2 Canadians have been charged with spying. He also gave coronavirus updates. Read the full speech transcript here.
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Justin Trudeau: (02:06)
Justin Trudeau: (02:11)
As we start to reopen parts of the economy, our government will continue to be there to help Canadians get back on their feet, and we’re making progress every day. In April, we announced a $9-billion plan to help students and recent grads get through the crisis. An important part of this plan was to create jobs for young people in sectors that need an extra hand, and today I have some good news to share.
Justin Trudeau: (02:37)
We’re creating 500 green jobs and training opportunities for young people in STEM in the energy, forestry, mining, earth sciences, and clean technology sectors. Ranging from six months to a year in length, these internships will give young people invaluable work experience and the chance to explore careers in the natural resource sector.
Justin Trudeau: (03:03)
[French 00:03:03]. Last night, the first ministers, the deputy prime minister, and I held our 14th weekly call. We talked about the government’s proposal to provide $14 billion to address critical needs across the country over the coming six months. This is money that could be used to offer more childcare spaces, increased testing and contact tracing, and keep people safe on the job. We want to work with the provinces and territories to implement these measures as soon as possible and make sure we don’t lose the progress we’ve made.
Justin Trudeau: (04:52)
We also talked about the upcoming launch of a new nationwide mobile app to provide notifications of exposure to COVID-19. As I mentioned yesterday, we will soon begin testing the app in Ontario, but it will be available to everyone across the country in the coming weeks. Canadians can count on our government to continue working with the provinces and territories to bring in the right measures to keep Canadians safe and healthy.
Justin Trudeau: (05:21)
I want to end today by reminding everyone that Sunday is Father’s Day. This is always a special time to get together with family and enjoy the warm weather, two things we’ve been missing over the past few months. All provinces and territories have started loosening some restrictions that probably make it easier to celebrate with dad this weekend. As you start making plans, please be sure to follow the public health guidelines for your region. This is the best way to keep you, your dad, and the whole family safe and have a great time on Sunday. And to all the dads out there, happy Father’s Day.
Justin Trudeau: (05:58)
Speaker 1: (06:01)
Speaker 2: (06:05)
Thank you. [French 00:06:47].
Speaker 3: (06:08)
Justin Trudeau: (06:08)
Speaker 4: (06:08)
Justin Trudeau: (08:01)
We are, of course, disappointed with the decision and the next step taken by the Chinese in the case of the “two Michaels,” and we offer all our support and sympathies to the families of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who are obviously living a difficult moment today as they have been for well over a year with the arbitrary detention of two Canadian citizens.
Justin Trudeau: (08:26)
We have continued to express our disappointment with the Chinese detention of these two Canadians. We will continue to advocate for their release, for their return to Canada while highlighting, of course, that we have an independent judicial system that is going through its rigorous processes in a way that is separate from political interference. This is an important issue that we will keep working on, not just directly with the Chinese government, but alongside our allies and friends around the world who are equally concerned with this arbitrary detention.
Speaker 1: (09:03)
Justin Trudeau: (09:03)
The world who are equally concerned with this arbitrary detention.
Speaker 5: (09:03)
[foreign language 00:00: 05].
Speaker 6: (10:08)
[foreign language 00:00:09]
Justin Trudeau: (10:10)
[foreign language 00:00:29].
Justin Trudeau: (10:16)
Over the past five years, Canadians have seen that as a government, we take very, very seriously the situation of Canadians in difficulty overseas. Over the past years, we’ve had a number of successes in returning Canadians, on liberating Canadians, who were in difficulties and we’ve continued to focus on that.
Justin Trudeau: (10:38)
Obviously on top of the public positioning, we’re always very firm on, there is also plenty of action behind the scenes in a very direct and firm ways, that has resulted in positive outcomes in the past and continues to be ongoing in these cases and in other cases similar around the world.
Speaker 5: (10:57)
[foreign language 00:10:59].
Thank you. Merci. Next question [Althea Rach 00:02:04] House Post Canada. Line open.
Thank you of taking my question. I want to know more about them case involving Mr. Tabbara. In the past, you have said that your members of parliament, staffers, but especially MPs with whom there are allegations of personal misconduct, you have taken the stance that once you hear complaints that you have removed them from caucus. Now that has not always been the case. We saw that with [Kenhair 00:11:38]. And in fact, with staffers [inaudible 00:11:41] particular, that I’m thinking of, we didn’t really hear anything about the investigation until he left your office. What is the standard that you are using now, when there are allegations of personal misconduct involving your MPs? Thanks,
Justin Trudeau: (12:00)
Thanks Althea. As you know, as people know well, from the very beginning of my leadership in the liberal party, we’ve always taken very serious any allegations or reports of misconduct. That is something that we have led the way on amongst political parties. We put in place rigorous processes, rigorous training, and rigorous procedures to follow in any case of complaints or allegations. Those steps are always followed.
Justin Trudeau: (12:31)
We bring in professionals to evaluate the case, to go through the processes in a responsible and a rigorous way. We make sure that the conclusions are respected and followed, any recommendations made are implemented, and of course we ensure that we’re respecting the confidentiality of the process, which is an integral part of those processes. That confidentiality is why I can’t say much about this particular case, other than to say that we have processes in place that are always followed rigorously and respected.
Justin Trudeau: (13:13)
[foreign language 00:04: 16].
Speaker 5: (14:12)
Following up, Althea?
Well, perhaps you can tell us not about the particulars of this case, but about your involvement in it. Were you aware of the allegations against Mr. Tabbara? If you were, why were you comfortable having him render your party banner? And if you were not, do you regret that decision? Do you feel like you should be more involved and more made aware of these complaints? And are there any current internal, informal, third-party investigation involving any allegations with regards to any of your caucus members?
Justin Trudeau: (14:46)
As a matter of course, I am continually informed as leader of the liberal party of investigations of allegations of processes going forward and that have existed. We always ensure that there is a rigorous process in place whenever there are any sorts of allegations brought forward. We make sure that all the steps are followed, that the conclusions are adhered to, that the recommendations are fulfilled.
Justin Trudeau: (15:16)
And of course, that confidentiality, which is so important in this situation and in all of these situations, is respected. That was the commitment that I’ve made to Canadians, it’s the commitment all members of the liberal party make, and it is something that we will continue to respect.
Speaker 5: (15:33)
Thank you, operator. We’ll go to the last question on the phone.
Thank you. Merci. [Foreign language 00:15:39].
Speaker 7: (15:35)
[foreign language 00:15:43].
Justin Trudeau: (15:35)
[foreign language 00:16:08].
Justin Trudeau: (15:35)
[foreign language 00:18:06].
Speaker 8: (15:35)
[foreign language 00:18:21].
Justin Trudeau: (15:35)
[foreign language 00:18:53].
Speaker 9: (15:35)
[foreign language 00:20:11].
Justin Trudeau: (15:35)
[foreign language 00:20:32].
Speaker 10: (15:35)
In English, please.
Justin Trudeau: (21:21)
From the very beginning, as a government, we have employed a range of tactics and actions to return Canadians who are in consular challenges around the world. Every situation is different and the range of actions and pressures that we put in each case differs. But I can assure you that we have developed a certain expertise in what has worked to get Canadians home in very difficult circumstances over the past years and in the case of the two Michaels, I can say that we are using a wide range of public and private measures to ensure that everything is being done to get these Michaels home.
Speaker 11: (23:18)
[foreign language 00:22:10].
Justin Trudeau: (23:20)
[foreign language 00:22:20].
Speaker 12: (23:20)
[foreign language 00:23:19].
Speaker 10: (23:24)
In English, please.
Justin Trudeau: (23:27)
From the very beginning, we have highlighted that there is an independent judicial system in the case of Madame Meng underway in Canada and that we will not and must not and cannot interfere in the independence of our judiciary in this country. The Chinese authorities have directly linked the case of the two Michaels to the judicial proceedings against Ms. Meng, which is extremely disappointing for us it is not, there obviously are no links except in politics on that. So we will continue to ask the Chinese and put pressure on the Chinese government to cease the arbitrary detention of these two Canadian citizens who are being held for no other reason than they are… The Chinese government is disappointed with the independent proceedings of the Canadian judiciary. We will continue to stand strong and firmly on the return of the two Michaels.
Tom Parry: (24:33)
Hi Prime Minister. Tom Parry from CBC. On the case of Mr. Tabbara. I just want to be clear. So are you saying that you knew prior to the last election about the allegations against him, and if you did, why did you allow him to run? Could you explain that?
Justin Trudeau: (24:45)
Whenever there are allegations against members of the Liberal Party, part of the process is for the leader to be informed. At the same time, the process that kicks in is a rigorous process that has been established to ensure that every single allegation or complaint around misconduct is appropriately investigated, dealt with, that there are conclusions and next steps and recommendations that are fulfilled. In this case, as in all cases, those processes and those steps are taken.
Justin Trudeau: (25:27)
Part of that process, and this is the part that is always frustrating for media and for many people watching, is that confidentiality is an integral part of that process to protect the people coming forward. And in respecting the integrity of the process and the protocols and procedures in place, I will also need to respect the confidentiality of everyone involved in this case and cannot comment further other than to emphasize as I always have that we take every single case extremely seriously, that we are always following the processes, that cases are different. And that obviously comes through in the various investigations and procedures, but that we, as a party, as an organization, continue to rigorously apply all the strong procedures in place that Canadians expect of us.
Speaker 13: (26:26)
Just to follow up. Could you confirm then when did you know? And are you looking into why there was a delay between the time he was charged and the time your office found out?
Justin Trudeau: (26:36)
Obviously in regards to the police proceedings, we’ve all reflected on the fact that there is apparently a rule in the House of Commons standing orders that if a member of Parliament is arrested, the Speaker or the House needs to be officially informed. That rule has apparently not been followed or applied much over the past years and I think there’s perhaps a reflection…
Justin Trudeau: (27:03)
… followed or applied much over the past years, and I think there’s perhaps a reflection that that is something that we can look into. Indeed, it does seem … It is certainly disappointing as a party leader that the individual in question never chose to inform the party of which he was a part of these charges. I’ll let the police, and the prosecutors in this case, speak for themselves.
Glen McGregor: (27:27)
Glen McGregor, CTV News. Prime Minister, one industry that has really thrived during the pandemic is grocery retail, in large part because workers have put their own health on the line to work in the cashes and stocking shelves. We’re learning now that major retailers, grocery chains like Loblaws and Metro are canceling the small amount of extra pay that they were giving to those employees. I’m wondering what your reaction was to that decision?
Justin Trudeau: (28:56)
As we’ve said from the beginning of this pandemic, the people who step up in the midst of the most serious times to ensure that Canadians can still put food on the table, that they get the deliveries they need, that shelves are stocked, that Canadians continue to be safe and fed, are heroes of this pandemic, every bit as much as our frontline health workers and emergency responders. We need to make sure that people who’ve stepped up to help Canadians, often at a question of their own health and safety, are continued to be supported and respected. That’s why we will continue to exhort, and expect, that people who’ve stepped up during this time be properly supported and paid for it.
Okay. [foreign language 00:30:19]
Jordan Press: (30:21)
Good morning, Prime Minister. Jordan Press with the Canadian Press. I wanted to ask you about the 14 billion just one more time. Can you explain what the holdup is on getting this money to the provinces, and what you’re willing to put on the table to make sure that money starts to flow?
Justin Trudeau: (30:32)
We have proposed 14 billion dollars to ensure that every Canadian right across the country feels that there is a safe restart going on around them and that they are properly supported. That means things like ensuring adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, both in businesses and in the regions, in the provinces. It means understanding that childcare, which is going to be so important as people go back to work, particularly with fewer summer camps and possible disruptions in schools, as well, that people can have place places to send their kids where they’re safe. Well, childcare is going to require more spaces, more rooms, more space, different modifications, which will cost more money. So, we want to be there to help that. We recognize municipalities are taking on extra expenses to offer the same reliable services needed, whether it’s in community centers, or day camps, or frontline supporters.
Justin Trudeau: (31:34)
These are the things that actually matter to a safe restart, and we want to make sure that every province, and territory, across the country is able to offer a level of protection to all Canadians that is essential, not just for the health side of things, but for the restart of the economy. So, we put forward 14 billion dollars on offer to provinces to help them with those specific things. We know that there’s …
Justin Trudeau: (32:02)
Great to be out in the country.
Justin Trudeau: (32:04)
We know that there is a range of needs across the country of provinces in different situations which was why we’ve put forward flexibility. At the same time, we expect the money that is allocated to go to help municipalities which are in need right across the country, actually goes to help municipalities and be matched by investments from the provinces, and territories, as well. We expect that money that is there to ensure adequate supplies of PPE, or adequate testing capacity, be used for adequate supplies of PPE, or testing capacity. So, the flexibility is on how their needs are going to be met, but we are fully expecting that the money we put forward for these things be spent on these things. That’s what Canadians expect. On that the discussions, and negotiations, are continuing but I’m very hopeful that we’re going to be able to start bringing forward some good news for certain areas very soon.
Hunter Cresswell: (33:04)
Hello, Hunter Cresswell at the Lowdown News. We’re here in Chelsea across the street from NCCs Gatineau Park. What work is being done to settle the tax dispute between the municipality and the NCC?
Justin Trudeau: (33:15)
I know this is an issue that has been ongoing for a long time, and I’m certain that the appropriate authorities are engaging in ways to resolve it in the right way.
Justin Trudeau: (33:28)