Apr 10, 2020
Justin Trudeau Canada Press Conference April 10
Justin Trudeau held his daily coronavirus press briefing today, April 10. He said Canada could see a “more normal” phase of Canada’s coronavirus fight in the summer. Read the full transcript of his updates here.
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Justin Trudeau: (00:06)
[French 00:00:06] I know the long weekend coming is very important to many Canadians. Whether you mark Good Friday or Passover, Easter, Tamil New Year, or Vaisakhi, usually this is a time we spend together. You might go to church or to temple or the volunteer. Last year when I served a community lunch in Hamilton, I saw just how much people come together over these next few days. But right now this weekend is going to be very different. You’ll have to stay home. You’ll have to Skype that big family dinner. And the Easter egg hunt? Well, it’ll have to happen around the house instead of around the neighborhood. I want to take a moment on that to have a word with kids out there. The Easter bunny has a big job to do this year, and maybe there’s something you can do to help. Ask your parents to let you put up a picture in the window to bring some extra chocolate for nurses and doctors. They need a lot of energy to keep us all safe, and this is how you can help them to do their job.
Justin Trudeau: (01:08)
[French 00: 01:10].
Justin Trudeau: (01:46)
These are tough times but you don’t have to go through them alone. If you’ve lost your job and are having troubles making ends meet, you can apply for the Canada emergency response benefit. Millions of people have already had their claim processed and they’re getting their $2,000 deposit. Remember, you can apply today or this weekend if you haven’t done so yet by going to Canada.ca or calling 1-800-959-2041. If you own a small business and are struggling to pay the bills or pay your staff, we launched the Canada emergency business account yesterday. You can now get a $40,000 interest free loan through your bank or credit union. And if you repay it within two years, 25% up to $10,000 of that loan is forgivable. It’ll only take a few days for you to receive the full amount in your account. That’s money you can use for whatever you need, whether it’s monthly expenses or paying employees.
Justin Trudeau: (02:49)
On that note, we’re getting closer to implementing the wage subsidy too. We’re working with other parties to get this in place as quickly as possible. Tomorrow we’re bringing back the House of Commons to pass the largest economic measures Canada has seen since World War II. It’s really important despite a time of crisis, in fact because of a time of crisis, that our institutions remain strong and our democratic principles continue. Therefore, this address to Canadians tomorrow will be a little later and from the floor of the House of Commons. And on that note, I’ll be taking Sunday and Monday with Sophie and the kids, but I’ll be back Tuesday with more updates on how we’re helping you.
Justin Trudeau: (03:37)
If you just feel overwhelmed, we’ll soon have more to say about how you can access resources that can help. If you’re in crisis, reach out, lean on each other and know that we will get through this together. All across the country there are stories of people stepping up to do their part. To ensure that Canadians are safe and our frontline workers have the support they need, we’re helping companies join in the effort. Look no further than Fluid Energy from Alberta. They will produce over a million liters of hand sanitizer each month with shipments starting as early as next week. We’ve invested in this large scale production as part of our plan to have enough vital supplies produced right here at home. When Canadians work together, we get things done.
Justin Trudeau: (04:30)
[ French 00:04:30].
Speaker 1: (05:24)
The prime minister will now open the floor for questions and go to the phone line. One question, one follow up. Operator.
Speaker 2: (05:36)
Thank you. Merci. First question, Mike Blanchfield. The Canadian Press line is open.
Mike Blanchfield: (05:42)
Good morning, Prime Minister, happy Easter and whatever else is on your plate. G20 energy ministers are meeting today as you know, and I’m just wondering what Canada’s plan is for playing its role with other countries in the G20 after what OPEC did, they cut production and to try to boost oil prices. What’s Canada going to be doing?
Justin Trudeau: (06:09)
Canada is a part of the discussion obviously with the G20 energy ministers. Minister O’Regan is sharing our perspective and the challenges that we’re going through in Canada from Newfoundland to Alberta and Saskatchewan. We’re going to continue to work because we recognize that this is a global challenge for many, many different countries and having a concerted approach is extremely important.
Justin Trudeau: (06:34)
We noted what the OPEC countries did yesterday and I know that’s going to be a subject of discussion at the G20 energy conversation today.
Justin Trudeau: (06:43)
Speaker 1: (06:44)
Mike Blanchfield: (07:11)
Mr. Prime Minister, what do you see Canada doing? You see it cutting production along what these OPEC countries? If so what effect would that have in Canada?
Justin Trudeau: (07:20)
As we know, Alberta has already curtailed production and has for some time now. We’re going to continue to look to make sure that other countries are doing their part and that people understand that the most important thing through this is to ensure that families and workers across the country and indeed around the world are getting the support they need to get through this crisis safely.
Speaker 1: (07:43)
Next question, operator.
Speaker 2: (07:44)
Thank you. [French 00:07:50].
Speaker 3: (07:44)
Justin Trudeau: (10:13)
Speaker 4: (11:00)
Thank you. Next question, operator?
Speaker 5: (11:03)
Thank you. Merci. Next question, Steve Scheer, Reuters. Line is open.
Steve Scheer: (11:10)
Hello, Prime Minister. Good morning. There’s a story out today saying that the Bank of Canada Governor Poloz was not asked to extend his mandate, and I was wondering, I know there’s a selection process in progress and that it’s not over, but ultimately it is the government that decides. I’m just wondering if you think it makes sense for the current governor to stay on a bit longer to help underpin confidence during this crisis. Thank you.
Justin Trudeau: (11:41)
This is an extremely important question because we know the important role that the Bank of Canada has in leading on monetary policy that is an essential part of our handling of this economic crisis related to COVID-19. The government has many fiscal measures, but a strong Bank of Canada is essential in getting us through this as well. Governor Poloz, as always, has done an extraordinary job, and continues to do an extraordinary job. The process is ongoing, and decisions haven’t been made as to what the next steps are.
Speaker 6: (12:20)
Justin Trudeau: (12:21)
Okay. [French 00:02:21].
Speaker 4: (12:55)
Follow up, Steve?
Steve Scheer: (12:58)
Yeah. If I could just up follow up, can you give us an idea of when that decision might be made?
Justin Trudeau: (13:03)
The discussions and reflections are ongoing.
Speaker 4: (13:07)
Thank you. One more question, please, operator.
Speaker 5: (13:11)
Thank you. Merci. [French 00: 03:13].
Speaker 7: (13:32)
Justin Trudeau: (13:35)
[French 00:03: 28].
Justin Trudeau: (14:12)
I think there are a number of tools that the Emergencies Act provides for, much stronger controls on distribution of necessary medical supplies and equipment, for example, or further restrictions on travel or on Canadians’ freedoms. But as I said, the way our country works is that provinces have Emergencies Act that they can bring in with very strong measures that they have all done. If at one point those measures are insufficient to do the things that are needed to do, and all the tools that the federal government has at its disposal are insufficient to bring forward measures that are deemed necessary, then, and only then, do we consider the Emergency Measures Act. But as I’ve said, it is our hope that we don’t have to use it ever. We are seeing that the collaboration, the partnership among provinces and territories and the way we’re moving forward on this means that we might not ever have to use the Emergencies Act, and that would be our preference.
Speaker 4: (15:23)
Speaker 7: (15:53)
Justin Trudeau: (15:54)
Speaker 8: (15:56)
In English, please.
Justin Trudeau: (16:53)
I think one of the things we’ve learned over the past month is that, when it needs to, government can move very quickly to help Canadians. We’ve seen the money from the CERB flow last week into Canadians’ bank accounts across the country. That was a monumental task for our public service, for hardworking Canadians across the country who make sure that they are serving Canadians with the best that they have. I think that lesson, that when it’s necessary we can move very, very quickly and nimbly as a government, is one that should inform reflections of a government going forward.
Rachel Hanes: (17:37)
Prime Minister, Rachel Hanes here from CTV National News. You’ve said a number of times that testing is an essential way to flatten the curve, and you spoke to Premier Doug Ford yesterday, who has also pushed for more testing in Ontario. But at the same time, we do know that there still remains a number of shortages when it comes to testing kits. How long will it be until every person who needs a test right now is able to get one?
Justin Trudeau: (18:01)
We are continually ramping up our testing. We started earlier than other countries in terms of intensifying our testing programs. Certain jurisdictions are doing extraordinarily well on testing, like Alberta and British Columbia. Quebec is coming a long way very quickly, and Ontario is addressing some of the challenges that they’ve faced over the coming days. We know there is more to do, but we can certainly know that the lead that we’ve taken on testing is part of why we are seeing a flatter curve than other places. We’ve done significantly more tests in total than the United States has, and they’re 10 times the size of us.
Justin Trudeau: (18:42)
We know that Canada’s testing regime has been good, but absolutely can get better. We’re going to continue to develop more testing kits, faster testing, because we know that even as we get through this first wave of COVID-19, once we are able to get into those coming months where we will be on guard but not as shut down or paused as we are right now, testing rapidly and efficiently of as many people as possible will be a key part of that path forward. Okay. [French 00:09:20].
Justin Trudeau: (20:00)
Speaker 9: (20:37)
Over the past few weeks you’ve made a number of announcements about Canadian companies and retooling facilities in order to ramp up domestic production. You just said in one of your previous answers that the government can move quickly when it needs to, but there are still a number of Canadian companies who say that they can supply this medical equipment, but they’re either getting caught in red tape or haven’t heard back from provincial or the federal government. So how long will it be until these domestic supplies make it to the front lines and into hospitals?
Justin Trudeau: (21:03)
We’ve had thousands and thousands of Canadian companies step up and offer to be part of supply chains for essential services for essential equipment and medications. We are working with all of them as quickly as possible. There have had to be choices as to who we could move quickest with, who was furthest along. But we will continue to work with all companies who put up their hands to be helpful, to figure out ways they can best help. This is something in which all Canadians can pull together, and are pulling together, and we will continue to do that.
Crystal Low: (21:38)
Hi, prime minister, [Crystal Low 00:01:39] with Global News. Is a federal government considering any measures, such as regulation or federal oversight, to ensure longterm care facilities are protected from this or future pandemics?
Justin Trudeau: (21:48)
There’ve been a number of reflections and discussions on this. We’ve seen that British Columbia has taken strong steps to ensure the safety of longterm care workers and residents. Obviously, this is a point of vulnerability as we’ve seen throughout the country in terms of the impact of COVID-19, and we’re continuing to work with health professionals and medical experts to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect our seniors.
Justin Trudeau: (22:17)
[French 00: 02:17].
Crystal Low: (22:50)
And an increasing number of healthcare workers are contracting the virus. Is that a concern for the federal government and what is being done to help protect them?
Justin Trudeau: (22:56)
Of course, we are tremendously worried whenever a healthcare professional contracts the virus. That is why providing adequate and significant amounts of personal protective equipment, making sure that protocols are being followed, helping provinces adjust their medical systems in ways that protect our healthcare workers is absolutely essential. We need our healthcare workers not just to stay healthy for their own benefits or the benefits of their families, but we need them to be able to stay healthy for the benefit of our entire community. But we also need them to know that we have their back. As they don their protective gear, as they go into battle against this virus, for the rest of us, we need to make sure they are getting all the support they need because they are the ones that are going to save Canadians.
Justin Trudeau: (23:51)
[French 00: 03:52].
Salimah Shivji: (24:46)
Good morning prime minister, Salimah Shivji, CBC News. A briefing note prepared for your minister of health on March 10th actually said that the risk of the spread of the virus within Canada remains low at this time. How do you explain the misinterpretation of the threat of the pandemic at such a late stage?
Justin Trudeau: (25:02)
I think we saw that within days we’d begun to take very serious measures to restrict travel, to encourage social distancing. We moved very quickly, and early, earlier than some countries, on countering the potential spread of the virus. At those days, the numbers of Canadians infected were still low, but we saw the potential that we are in right now, and we started to act early, and that’s why the measures that we’re taking right now, the significant measures that we’re in right now are keeping us, we are hopeful, on the best possible curve to get through this in the coming months.
Justin Trudeau: (25:44)
[French 00: 05:45].
Salimah Shivji: (26:30)
I’m just trying to understand this. So was that advice, that there was a low risk of the spread of this, flawed? And what impact did that have on your government’s work to contain the virus?
Justin Trudeau: (26:39)
Our work continued every step of the way, informed by the recommendations made by our health officials. We wanted to both make sure that there were no panics on Canadians, while at the same time, getting people to take more and more significant measures because we knew that the behavior of Canadians was the strongest way of doing what we’ve been able to do so far, which is slow the spread of the virus, delay it beyond where it’s been in other countries, and give us the best possible chance of getting through it.
Justin Trudeau: (27:14)
As we look back, of course there’s going to be things we said, “Oh, we might’ve said this differently or that differently.” There’s going to be an awful lot of learning through this, but it remains that as we get through this now, as we live through the measures that we’ve put in place, and lean on each other and hold together, we have the best chance of getting through this in the coming weeks and months by remaining true to the advice that experts are giving us: To stay home, to keep two meters apart, to wash our hands regularly, to not go outside unless we absolutely have to, to hunker down, lean on each other, virtually, and metaphorically and be able to support each other through this time.
Justin Trudeau: (28:00)
[ French 00:00:27:59].
Speaker 10: (28:02)
Justin Trudeau: (28:02)
Justin Trudeau: (28:02)
Speaker 11: (28:02)
Justin Trudeau: (28:02)
Speaker 12: (34:08)
In English [inaudible 00:04:13].
Justin Trudeau: (34:14)
What we are in right now is the first phase of the spread of the virus. This is the phase that runs to a certain extent unchecked or difficultly checked through our society, through our communities. We’re seeing new cases pop up here and there. We’re seeing people struggle to handle it and to keep these measures from overwhelming our healthcare system.
Justin Trudeau: (34:43)
If we do things right, this will be the first and worst phase that we go through as a country in terms of COVID-19. If we keep these measures, these strong measures, in place of staying home, of not going outside unless we absolutely have to, on keeping two meters apart and being strong about social distancing, these are the things that will ensure that we will get through this first wave of the virus as quickly as possible, with minimal loss of life as well. This is what we are looking for, of not overwhelming our healthcare system, and that happens if we stay strong about remaining at home for the coming weeks. According to the models we’ve put forward, it is possible that we will be able to be out of that wave this summer. At that point, we will be able to talk about loosening up a some of the rules that are in place, looking at particular sectors where people can go back to work, bringing in new rules around how people can interact with each other in society and get things rolling again. We’ll have to be very careful about how we do that and we will have to remain vigilant and active every single day for possible resurgences of the virus.
Justin Trudeau: (36:08)
At that point, however, we will have developed much better testing protocols because every single day we’re improving them. We will develop new technologies for contact tracing and we will all become much, much better at reacting when a possible resurgence happen. As we look at possible resurgences over the coming months, we will be better adjusted and adapted as a society to minimize them and therefore minimize the disruption to everyday life, to our economic activity. That is the ideal scenario, but it only happens if we continue to stay strong for the coming weeks and stay inside, keep those two meters apart and be very, very careful about not allowing COVID-19 to spread further.
Justin Trudeau: (37:02)
That phase of vigilance, of easing off to a certain extent, but still being careful will continue until such a time as we have a vaccine for the virus. Researchers across Canada and around the world are working hard on this. It could take as little as six months, more likely it’ll take a year or a year-and-a-half, maybe even longer; but I know the best minds are working on that. We will, once we’re through this first phase, be able to get back to something that is more normal, but we will not get back to the normal that we had before, at least until we have developed a vaccine for the virus.
Justin Trudeau: (37:47)
That is the reality. But the abundant fundamental bottom line that people can reflect on this weekend is if we stay strong in our social-distancing measures now and for the coming weeks, we can see how things can start getting back to normal in the coming months. We will be able to get through this because that’s what Canadians do. We lean on each other, we support each other, and we figure out how to get through the big challenges that life throws at us.
Justin Trudeau: (38:19)
[French 00:00:38:20]. Have a wonderful Easter.