CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
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 to 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 neighbourhood.
I want to take a moment to have a word with all the 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.
Regardless of our age, we all have a role to play to beat the coronavirus.
Earlier this week, I mentioned that Health Canada had launched a call for volunteers to help our frontline workers.
And already, over 27,000 people have signed up to lend a hand and give them a bit of respite.
All across the country, many of you are doing your part, and I want to thank you.
You are there for each other and I know that together, we will get through this.
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 will 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.
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.
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 litres 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.
Last night, I spoke once again with Deputy Prime Minister Freeland and the provincial and territorial premiers.
Right from the beginning, we’ve seen a lot of people join Team Canada, including the premiers.
We’re all on the same wavelength, and we’re all working together to keep you safe.
This long weekend, we all have to stay at home.
We can’t get together for dinner.
And we’ll have to get creative to organize an Easter egg hunt inside the house.
But being physically separated doesn’t mean we can’t be there for each other.
Organize a family dinner on FaceTime.
Call your friends.
And if you can afford it, donate to charity.
This Easter long weekend won’t be like others, but I know that it will nevertheless be full of joy, laughter, and love.
Thank you, everyone.