May 4, 2021
Justin Trudeau Canada COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript May 4
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided coronavirus and vaccine updates during a press conference on May 4, 2021. Read the transcript of the news briefing here.
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Justin Trudeau: (00:10)
Hello everyone. [foreign language 00:00:12] Unfortunately, some people are still choosing to join large gatherings or even go out of their way to protest public health measures and disrupt vaccine appointments. But here’s the thing, the reason so many Canadians are following public health measures isn’t just because they want things to get back to normal. It’s because they care about their neighbors and about our frontline workers. It’s because they know people who are vulnerable, people who could die if this virus keeps spreading. These protests are supposed to be about getting back to normal, but by spreading the virus, they do just the opposite and prolong lockdowns. So follow public health advice, but don’t do it for me or for any politician, do it for someone in your life that you care about, do it because you respect your fellow Canadians.
Justin Trudeau: (01:34)
To the millions of people who are already doing this and who are stepping up to look out for those around you. Thank you. As you do your part, know that we have your back. Across the country, we’re deploying additional support to provinces and territories that have been hit hardest by this third wave. For Alberta, we continued reaching out to the province through the weekend. We’re offering whatever help they need to get the situation under control and keep Albertans safe. For the GTA, the second team of healthcare workers from Newfoundland and Labrador will arrive at Pearson this afternoon, onboard a Canadian Armed Forces Airplane. They’ll join the first team that’s already there, as well as the armed forces members who are helping in Toronto hospitals.
Justin Trudeau: (02:23)
And for all Canadians, we continue to deliver PPE, rapid tests, and of course, vaccines. We have now delivered 16.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the provinces and territories. This week, just like every week in May, we’re receiving 2 million doses from Pfizer alone. Already 1.3 million doses of this week’s shipment have been delivered to the provinces and territories. From Moderna, we’re picking up our next shipment tonight in Europe, and by tomorrow morning, a million Moderna doses will be on the ground in Canada. Almost all of these doses will arrive in provinces and territories by the end of the week. [foreign language 00:03:10].
Justin Trudeau: (03:27)
Remember all vaccines in Canada have been approved by Health Canada. Our advice to provinces and territories and to Canadians has not changed. Dr. Tam will have more to say in a few minutes, but make sure you get your shot as soon as it’s your turn. Already we’re seeing how vaccines along with public health measures keep people safe. We’ve administered hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses in hundreds of Indigenous communities.
Justin Trudeau: (03:58)
Cases are now falling quickly in places across the country. In fact, for First Nations communities alone, active cases are about a sixth of what they were at the end of January. This is not a coincidence. Vaccines work. From day one, our top priority has been keeping people safe. And as long as this crisis lasts, that remains job one. In budget 2021, we laid out an additional $1.2 billion to finish the fight against COVID-19 for indigenous communities. This will go towards everything from hiring nurses to getting PPE to the front lines. [foreign language 00:04:44]. Everyone should have access to clean water, just like everyone should have a safe home and a good job. Together we’ve made progress in the past five years. On drinking water alone, we’ve lifted 106 long-term advisories since 2015. But if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that there’s always more work to do. That’s why we’re investing $6 billion for Indigenous infrastructure projects, whether for roads or schools, this will close gaps that far too many people still face and support good jobs across the country. Together we can, and we will, continue to move forward. [foreign language 00:07:12].
Justin Trudeau: (07:11)
Finally, I want to recognize that May marks the start of both Asian Heritage Month and Canadian Jewish Heritage Month. As we celebrate the contributions of Asian Canadians and of the Jewish community alike, we have a lot to be thankful for because from dropping off groceries for neighbors to organizing PPE drives, in the last year people have come together like never before. Truly, diversity is our strength, and it’s something we must always stand up for. There is no place in Canada for anti-Semitism. There is no place for anti-Asian racism. There’s no place for hatred or discrimination against anyone or any community. [foreign language 00:09:00] Anita.
Anita Anand: (09:11)
Thank you, Prime Minister. Today, I will provide you with an update on vaccine deliveries into this country. [foreign language 00:09:19] Since the early days of our vaccine campaign, our government has been keeping Canadians up to date on our plans and progress. And when Moderna informed us that there would be delays while they worked to ramp up production, we shared that news as soon as we received it.
Anita Anand: (10:08)
Today, I am pleased to provide some good news on that front. The 1 million Moderna doses, originally anticipated to be picked up next week, have now been picked up and they are on route to Canada and scheduled to arrive early tomorrow morning. I can also tell you that Moderna has been working with our department at PSPC to solidify a more regular schedule going forward. This week’s Moderna shipment, combined with the 2 million doses arriving from Pfizer, mean that a total of 3 million doses will be in Canada before the end of the week. And arrivals of the Pfizer vaccine continue to be on track for 2 million doses each week in May. That number ramps up to 2.4 million doses each week over five weeks in June. [foreign language 00:11:07].
Anita Anand: (11:06)
But as Dr. Tam and all of our public health experts will tell you, we can’t let down our guard. These next weeks and months are crucial as our vaccination campaign accelerates. We need to remain vigilant in our efforts to curb the spread of the virus and its more contagious variants. I would like to express my appreciation to all Canadians for observing the public health guidelines and keeping their own communities safe. [foreign language 00:12:13] Thank you. [foreign language 00:12:50]. And now I think…
Speaker 1: (12:51)
Anita Anand: (12:52)
Marc Miller: (12:56)
Thank you, Minister Anand. [foreign language 00:12:59] Hello [foreign language 00:13:02]. I’d like to begin by acknowledging that I am on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg people. [foreign language 00:13:08].
Marc Miller: (13:25)
One of the ways we can all support mental wellness is by talking about it. Speak out about it. Speak out about how you’re feeling, reach out to friends, families, and elders. And if you need help, there are people to support you. The Hope For Wellness line is there for everyone. First Nations Inuit, Metis, children, youth, or adults, as the Prime Minister said, you can reach them by calling 1 (855) 242-3310, 1 (855) 242-3310, or connect to an online chat of hopeforwellness.ca. Telephone counseling is also available in Cree, Ojibwe, and Inuktitut. I would like to give you an update on the case numbers in vaccines rollout in First Nations and Inuit communities. [foreign language 00:14:14] Indigenous Services Canada is currently speaking with the government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated to provide significant financial support for food security and enhanced public health measures among others. Indigenous communities are keeping up the fight against COVID-19, however, events in Iqaluit and alarming outbreaks in some communities are painful reminders to maintain public health measures. This is not over.
Marc Miller: (15:12)
Vaccinations remain our top defense against the virus by prioritizing and vaccinating Indigenous communities first, we’ve managed to significantly decrease case counts and keep more Indigenous individuals healthy. As of April 30th, just shy of 370,000 doses have been administered in over 661 First Nations, Inuit and territorial communities. Of that, 107,596 were second doses. That means that over five 59% of adults in First Nations communities, as well as over 72% of adults living in the territories, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In Inuit communities, this rate goes up to almost 80% and the data’s clear the COVID-19 case rate has drastically slowed down as the number of vaccinated people increased. [foreign language 00:16:03]
Marc Miller: (16:00)
[French 00:16:00]. In Alberta, vaccination is well underway in all first nations communities and as of April 27th, 53% of the populations aged 18 and older living on reserve had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, at a rate that is over twice that of Alberta’s. I’d also like to highlight the outstanding work done by the Blackfoot Confederacy in sharing vaccines to keep everyone safe. Despite the recent surge in cases in Alberta, active cases amongst first nations in communities on reserve has totaled recently 223 active cases, and it’s encouraging to see the support and partnerships in the vaccine rollout.
Marc Miller: (17:04)
The Canadian Armed Forces also continue to assist vaccination teams with the accelerated pace of immunization in a number of on reserve indigenous communities in Northern Manitoba, among others. CAF has also been assisting provincial vaccination authorities with tasks associated with vaccine administration in more than 25 communities and [inaudible 00:17:21] nation in Northern Ontario. This week in particular, CAF will be assisting in [inaudible 00:17:28] first nation communities with the second dose of COVID- 19. [Ojibwe 00:17:33]. Thank you, and [French 00:17:34].
Speaker 2: (17:37)
Dr. Tam: (17:41)
You very much. [French 00:17:42]. Last week, the world reached an amazing milestone of over 1 billion vaccines administered, and today we’d like to give a shout out to the millions of Canadians who have been stepping up to get vaccinated and the many among them who are actively helping others by sharing credible information and assisting in other ways. First, the numbers update.
Dr. Tam: (18:10)
To date, over 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 including over 24,300 deaths have been reported in Canada. We are making progress nationally, but there are still a few tricky spots. The decline in national case counts has slowed to a less than 2% decrease over the past week with an average of 7,900 cases reported daily. Unfortunately, the number of people experiencing severe and critical illness remains high. Over the past week, an average of almost 4,300 people with COVID-19 were being treated in our hospitals each day, including over 1,450 people being treated in intensive units. At the same time, an average of 47 deaths were reported daily. Yesterday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization updated its recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines to include advice on the use of the Jensen COVID-19 vaccine. As with the AstraZeneca vaccine, there have been confirmed cases of very rare but serious blood clots associated with low levels of blood platelets. No vaccine induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia after administration of the Jensen vaccine. At this time, and based on current evidence, NACI recommends the Jensen vaccine maybe offered individuals 30 years of age and older without counter-indications If the individual wants to receive a vaccine right away. The recommendations have been updated based on an assessment of the risk of it, COVID-19 exposure risk, and the potential benefit of earlier vaccination and preventing serious COVID-19 disease for various age groups. Provinces and territory are currently planning to add this additional tool to their toolbox to help end the pandemic as soon as possible.
Dr. Tam: (20:19)
As we move through this rough period, we can be optimistic as vaccine supply expands and more and more Canadians roll up a sleeve. There is a real sense of hope and solidarity in here. Recently, a Canadian collaborative movement has popped up with a dedicated website and hashtag aimed at getting more Canadians informed and motivated to get their shots. ThisIsOurShot.ca is rallying Canadians across the country to encourage each other to replace vaccine hesitancy with confidence, so that we can end the pandemic together. They have partnered with task forces and doctors serving racialized and ethnic communities across Canada to address their questions and concerns by making information more accessible, including by offering resources in 28 different languages from [Horak 00:21:15] to Vietnamese.
Dr. Tam: (21:15)
Initiatives like these can inspire all of us to join the challenge that will help spread the message that by getting vaccinated, we’re taking action to end the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Let’s not forget, there are also other things we all need to be doing to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safer. Regardless of our vaccination status, we all need to continue following public health advice and maintain individual wash mask space practices, even as we’re beginning to see the positive impact of COVID-19 vaccines. This is May the fourth, and during the month of May, Canada’s vaccine supplies are expanding. May the fourth of immunity be with you. Thank you.
Dr. Nu: (22:12)
Speaker 2: (26:43)
Thank you, Dr. [Nu 00:26:44]. We’ll now turn to questions on the phone. The Prime Minister will be around for a number of questions from the phone in the room, and then the ministers and doctors will still be available after that. Operator, over to you.
Ryan Tumilty: (26:55)
Thank you, [French 00:26:55]. You may press star one if you have a question. [French 00:26:58].
Speaker 3: (27:09)
Prime Minister Trudeau: (27:36)
Speaker 3: (28:52)
Prime Minister Trudeau: (28:54)
Prime Minister Trudeau: (28:58)
Let me begin by saying, first of all, now is not the time to travel. We are all hopeful we’re going to be able to get back to normal in the coming months and start traveling again, but the reality is, we’re not there yet. We’re still very much in a third wave. We still need to get more and more people vaccinated across this country and get those numbers down. However, we also know that as people start to travel again, perhaps this summer if everything goes well, it would make sense for us to align with partners around the world on some sort of proof of vaccination or vaccine certification. We are now working with allies, particularly in Europe, on that. Ultimately, it is up to every country to determine what requirements they expect from incoming travelers. We are looking very carefully at it, hoping to align with allied countries, but I can’t speak for the United States and the choices they might make around who to welcome into their country.
Ryan Tumilty: (30:02)
Speaker 3: (30:03)
Prime Minister Trudeau: (30:25)
Speaker 2: (31:08)
[French 00:31:08]. Operator?
Ryan Tumilty: (31:11)
Thank you. [French 00:31:12]. The next question is from Charlie Pinkerton from High Politics. Please go ahead.
Charlie Pinkerton: (31:18)
Good afternoon. Prime Minister, tomorrow, at a meeting of the World Trade Organizations General Council amongst old requests from India and South Africa to wave some patent protections to allow poor countries early, easier access to COVID-19 vaccines will again be discussed. Would Canada vote in favor of this waiver, should it come to it?
Prime Minister Trudeau: (31:41)
Canada well understands Charlie, that this pandemic isn’t over anywhere until it’s over everywhere. That’s why at the WTO, with the WHO, with various partners around the world, we continue to work to ensure including through [Kovacs 00:31:59] and the app accelerator, that there are vaccines available for people.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (32:03)
… accelerator that there are vaccines available for people all around the world as quickly and in his large quantities as possible. I know the conversations around patent protections are ongoing and Canada is actively participating in them, but we understand how important it is to get vaccines to the most vulnerable around the world and we will keep working for that.
Speaker 4: (32:22)
Charlie Pinkerton: (32:26)
Yeah. I would appreciate a more firm answer on whether or not Canada would support this, but I suppose the follow-up question would be, would vaccine passports be something that your government would be willing to create ahead of the time that everyone has access to vaccines? So before the time that everyone’s had a chance to get two shots?
Prime Minister Trudeau: (32:55)
As I’ve said, every step of the way, we’re going to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep Canadians safe and that means following science, listening to experts on recommendations they’re making. We know that vaccination is a really important part of how we get through this for the longterm and that is going to be something we’re continuing Canadians to do. We need to make sure that access is equitable. We’re happy to be highlighting today the tremendously successful vaccination campaigns that have been taking place in Indigenous communities across the country with full partnership of Indigenous leadership. These are the kinds of things we need to make sure that we’re doing so that any steps we take moving forward are fair for everyone. But yes, as I said, we are looking at requirements around vaccination on international travel, and we will as much as possible align with partners and allies on these issues.
Speaker 4: (34:00)
Thank you, and we’ll take one more question on the phone. Operator.
Speaker 5: (34:04)
The next question is from Ryan Tumilty from the National Post. Please go ahead.
Ryan Tumilty: (34:10)
Yeah, good morning, sir. I’m sure you know, NACI yesterday recommended that people who can wait for an mRNA vaccine should pass on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the AstraZeneca vaccine because of the risk of blood clots. I’m wondering if you’re concerned that, that recommendation is going to slow Canada’s vaccine rollout and further muddle the waters and create more vaccine hesitancy?
Prime Minister Trudeau: (34:39)
First and foremost, Ryan, I have heard and you have heard and we have all heard directly from friends, loved ones, Canadians in general, how eager everyone is to get through this, get back to normal, get to a better summer, end this pandemic once and for all. Everyone wants that and we know the way to do that is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. The longer we wait, the longer it takes, the slower before we get back to normal, the slower before we get to drive down case numbers across the country. So everyone knows that we need to get our shots as quickly as possible, and I can reinforce once again that every single vaccine available in Canada has been approved by Health Canada as being both safe and effective.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (35:37)
It is a good thing that we get to hear from a broad range of medical experts and doctors making recommendations to keep us safe. The bottom line is we need all of us to get vaccinated as quickly as possible so we can get back to normal. But I will let turn to a Dr. Tam for a follow-up on the medical aspects of that question, Theresa.
Dr. Tam: (36:02)
Yes. Thank you for that question and I think that Canadians should feel confident in so many ways about getting vaccinated. As the Prime Minister said, this is the key to help us get through this pandemic, is to get vaccinated. I think that it is hard for people to understand evolving science and evolving data. That’s what’s been so difficult for so many people throughout this pandemic, but I think I am very heartened that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization is taking the data that we’re gathering in real time into account and evolving the advice based on that. We all want transparency. We all want that the data is carefully analyzed as we’re going along. That doesn’t make it easy for people to understand, but I think that that’s a really important principle, and that as benefits and risks await these parameters could shift over time and we can depend on NACI and our chief medical officers of health across Canada to take all of that into account as they provide vaccines to everyone.
Dr. Tam: (37:23)
We will keep learning as we go and incorporate any surveillance information, for example, that we have on the serious adverse events. And NACI, what I heard from the Chief Medical Officer is that they’re very grateful for NACI for providing them with the risk benefit framework upon which they will incorporate the viral vector vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Jansen, and they will serve the population with the best advice as they’re rolling out the implementation program. But I think that we all have to understand that everyone is trying to provide the best information in order for everyone to make a decision. What I’ve also heard from chief medical officers is that there is no doubt in their minds as they’re experiencing very significant resurgence in COVID-19 and seeing ICUs buildup and seeing death still occurring across the country, that the AstraZeneca vaccine has really saved lives and that the vaccine has done what it was designed to do.
Dr. Tam: (38:37)
And that the longer you wait to get vaccinated, the longer that you’re not protected. Having said that, they too will take advice from NACI and others and involve not only as our data evolves on the benefit and risks, but also adapting and calibrating as our supplies, for example, the mRNA vaccine rapidly escalates over time. So I think that Canadians should be confident that our public health systems are providing you with the best advice in the back and the vaccines as they become available.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (39:20)
[foreign language 00:39:20].
Speaker 4: (40:16)
Your follow-up, Ryan.
Ryan Tumilty: (40:18)
Yeah, sir, right now Canadians are hearing from NACI, they’re hearing from you, they’re hearing from Health Canada, and they’re hearing from local medical offices of health, and often they’re hearing different advice. I’m wondering if you think in retrospect the government should have clarified the communications process so that Canadians aren’t getting confused and potentially more vaccine hesitant in the middle of this pandemic?
Prime Minister Trudeau: (40:45)
As we’ve pointed out many times, Canada is a big country with very different realities in terms of pandemic, in terms of demographics, right across the country, and every step of the way we have put out federal recommendations, but also made sure that the provincial authorities, the people closest to the ground, the people understanding the situation and the way forward best are able to make their recommendations. We also have seen evolving science. These vaccines were developed to be safe and effective in record time, and that is saving millions of lives around the world. But also because of that, the data continues to roll in and there’s always opportunities to refine or adjust those recommendations, and that’s why we’re pleased to be able to continue to count on an extraordinary team of experts and doctors.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (41:44)
[foreign language 00:41:44].
Michael Couture: (42:44)
Prime Minister, Michael Couture with Global National. I just wanted to come back on NACI doubling down on this idea of preferred vaccines. As one of the 1.7 million Canadians who got one of the not preferred vaccines, I wanted to know what do you think of that, first of all? And second of all, we’re hearing from doctors that are seeing that what NACI is doing right now is actually dangerous because it’s going against public health guidelines. Do you think that NACI still really serves a purpose here?
Prime Minister Trudeau: (43:12)
First of all, let me remind everyone that every vaccine administered in Canada is safe and effective as evaluated by Health Canada. The safety of Canadians is first and foremost, and we have seen the tragic impacts of COVID-19 all across the country and vaccines are one of the key tools to reduce the deaths and the vulnerability of Canadians to COVID-19. That’s why we’re continuing to recommend to everyone to get vaccinated as quickly as possible so we can get through this, so we can see a case numbers drive down, and we can end with so many of these restrictions. I am very, very happy that I got my shot and I’m encouraging everyone to get vaccinated because that’s what Health Canada and all experts are highlighting is necessary to get through this.
Michael Couture: (44:19)
Sorry, I’ve got a follow-up. I just wanted to ask you, last week, you talked about your Chief of Staff, Katie Telford, as a strong leader when it comes to fighting accusations of misconduct in the military. You said it’s because of her leadership that you call yourselves a feminist government. So why does it seem like the Liberals at the National Defense Committee are trying to prevent her from testifying, and would you be okay with her testifying?
Prime Minister Trudeau: (44:42)
It is unfortunate, but not surprising to see Conservatives playing extremely aggressive partisan games with this issue. My focus, our focus, as a government, our focus as a country, needs to be on supporting survivors of sexual assault and harassment and recognizing that the systems that have been in place for many years in the military and elsewhere have not given people comfort to come forward, share their stories, and demand consequences. That is a failing that we have collectively had, particularly in the Armed Forces, and it’s something that needs to end. We have taken significant measures over the past number of years, but as we’ve clearly seen, there is much more to do.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (45:33)
And that’s why we made announcements last week with Justice [inaudible 00:45:39] and General [inaudible 00:45:42] to put in place measures that will make sure that anyone who experiences harassment assault in the military or anywhere else for that matter in this country has ways to come forward, engage in a process, be supported, and know that we are serious about putting an end to the unacceptable culture that has tolerated this for far too long in our military and in other institutions.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (46:16)
[foreign language 00:46:16].
Justin Trudeau: (46:16)
Glen McGregor, CTV News. Prime Minister, you’ve repeatedly come here in this very room and said that the best vaccine to take is the first one offered to you. Based on that advice, 1.7 million Canadians went and got the AstraZeneca shot. Now they learn that, that is not necessarily true and that from your science advisors, that some of them should have waited and waited to take Moderna or Pfizer. Do you understand how frustrated they are by that? What do you say to them? And what do you say to someone who’s got an appointment today to take-
Speaker 6: (48:03)
What do you say to them? And what do you say to someone who’s got an appointment today to take AstraZeneca and is now maybe thinking that isn’t the right vaccine for them?
Prime Minister Trudeau: (48:09)
On a personal level I am extremely pleased that I got the AstraZeneca vaccine a number of weeks ago. It was extremely important to me to be able to protect my loved ones, to protect my family and to do my part to ensure that all Canadians get through this as quickly as possible. And that’s the reality. We all want to get through this pandemic as quickly as possible. And that means all of us getting vaccinated as quickly as possible. That is the focus that we have right now. And again, every single vaccine administered in Canada has been judged by Health Canada as being safe and effective.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (48:57)
The impact of catching COVID are far greater and far deadlier, as we’ve seen across the country, then potential side effects, which although serious are rare. But I’m not going to get too much into the medical advice and I’m happy to turn it over to Dr. Tam for that. But the reality is the way we get through this pandemic is to get vaccinated with whatever vaccine is offered to us as quickly as possible. Theresa.
Dr. Tam: (49:35)
Yes, as I’ve said that I can certainly understand why some individuals are concern or getting frustrated as advice appears to be evolving, but that is the nature of science and advice. And I think that Health Canada, as the prime minister said, is doing their job. They just put out, for example, a notice that they are taking a very diligent locate all the information about the Johnson vaccine before they release this vaccine for use in the population. So we know that they’re doing their job. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is also doing their job. So while overall benefits and risks as such, that benefits might outweigh the risks, there are differences in how you look at benefits and risks depending on the disease activity within your jurisdiction or your local community. As well as your own risk in terms of your age or your risk factors. And the local public health department also takes into account the supply and logistic and other operational elements.
Dr. Tam: (50:51)
But I think the bottom line is that everyone should be reassured that the regulator, the experts and local medical officers of health have all done their work in a synchronized manner to provide the vaccines to the communities. So that you should trust that the vaccine program being offered to you is done with that best knowledge. And that information should be provided to everyone to make sure you get the best informed decisions.
Dr. Tam: (51:26)
On AstraZeneca, on Johnson, we will continue to be monitoring the evolution in information. I think for those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, as I’ve said, in the timeframe that we’re looking at all medical officers have said it’s been a really, really effective vaccine that saved lives. And I expect the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the chief medical officers will also look at what is the best advise going forward for those who have already received a AstraZeneca vaccine, including any international evolving clinical trials and any domestic expert analysis on that second dose.
Dr. Tam: (52:11)
So I just want to assure everyone that that advice will be forthcoming in time for when people need that second dose. But again, I’ll reiterate from all chief medical officers that the AstraZeneca vaccine deployed in the middle of a third wave has saved lives and prevented serious illnesses.
Tom Parry: (52:34)
Hi, Prime Minister at Tom Parry, CBC. I’d like to ask you about international travelers coming into Canada. By air, they’re being funneled into four airports. They’re supposed to quarantine when they land, some of them aren’t though, they’re taking a fine instead. We asked PHAC how many people are taking fines? They said, it’s a number above 500, but they couldn’t give us an exact number. Also, it seems that travelers arriving in Vancouver and Toronto are getting fine, travelers arriving in Calgary and Montreal are just walking away without getting fine. So why is it your officials don’t seem to know exactly how many people are opting out of quarantine? Why is it travelers at some airports are being fined and others not, and what are you going to do about that?
Prime Minister Trudeau: (53:19)
Thank you, Tom. First of all, let me remind people that when someone arrives in Canada, whether it’s through an airport or through a land border, they have to show a three-day PCR test that is negative, they have to get tested on arrival, they have to get tested again a week into their quarantine, and they do have to quarantine for two weeks at home. And that is for everyone arriving. On top of that, if you’re arriving at an airport, you need to do a mandatory government approved accommodation while waiting the result of your on arrival PCR test. These are all ways of putting in multiple levels and multiple layers to keep Canadian safe from arrivals of virus in this country. And allow us to study and follow up on the statistics on the sequencing, on the reality of where those challenges are. And for example, the system clearly showed that in the case of flights from India and Pakistan, there was a higher level of importation of people testing positive on the on arrival test, and that’s why based on that data, we were able to shift our posture and suspend those direct flights.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (54:43)
When it comes to enforcement, the federal government works hand in hand with local authorities. The local police have jurisdiction, and we’ve seen that both in Vancouver and in Toronto or in Ontario and BC, the cooperation between the federal government and the local police has been seamless and we’ve been able to both collect data and follow up on this. In other jurisdictions, the arrangements are slightly different with both Quebec and Alberta. That means we don’t have the same access to the data of the local enforcement actions. But like I said, yes, the RCMP and PHAC and others make follow up calls and are part of the checking and enforcement of the mandatory two week quarantine. But local municipal and provincial police are also part of that equation and have the full authorities to bring in fines. We certainly hope that there will be a greater access to data that can reassure people that those fines are indeed being applied and enforced everywhere across the country.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (55:58)
[foreign language 00:55:58]
Justin Trudeau: (55:58)
Hello I’m [inaudible 00:57:36] with the Canadian Press. Sexual assault, victims, and advocates have complained that liberal MPs have treated them rudely at committee meetings. Will you speak to your caucus about their behavior in committee meetings? And do you think that there will need to be reformed to take more trauma informed approach?
Prime Minister Trudeau: (57:59)
I think it’s important for everyone to take a more trauma informed approach on dealing with questions of sexual assault and sexual harassment, on providing support for survivors. Our institutions in general, whether it be the Canadian Armed Forces or our parliament or workplaces across the country need to do a better job of creating a supportive environment in which people who have experienced unacceptable actions are able to come forward and engage in a process that is going to support them and get consequences for inappropriate actions. And even further, create environments in which those inappropriate actions don’t happen in the first place. We all have to do better. We all need to take this seriously. And I know it’s something that liberal MPs, like all MPs, want to do a better job of. Every single party that seems preoccupied with supporting survivors and making sure that we are improving our systems throughout government. And I can assure you that the liberal government will continue to do just that.
Justin Trudeau: (59:18)
[foreign language 00:59:18] Julie-Anne Lapointe Radio Canada. [foreign language 00:59:21]
Prime Minister Trudeau: (59:38)
[foreign language 00:59:38] Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, [foreign language 01:00:55] I think it’s extremely important to recognize that the world is changing and the presence of online giants that haven’t paid their fair share of taxes in the countries where they are operating is something that needs to end. That’s why we made a commitment to do just that, to bring in a taxation regime for web giants as of January 1st, 2022. On our own, if necessary, but ideally in alignment with other like-minded countries. The OECD is working very hard on creating that alignment so that we’re able to move forward. And we will ideally harmonize with what the rest of the world is doing to make sure that everyone is paying their fair share.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (01:02:08)
We are moving forward with applying sales tax to Netflix subscriptions, to be fair to streaming services that are Canadian. But at the same time we will continue to look for ways to make sure that companies that are making tremendous profits are off of Canadians without paying their fair share of taxes are actually held to account and that’s something we’re moving forward on.
Speaker 7: (01:02:33)
Thank you. That concludes the time that the Prime Minister has for questions. The ministers and doctors will be around for a few more moments afterwards for questions. We’ll get started once the Prime Minister exits.