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Prime Minister’s remarks on the expansion of support for workers and businesses

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Hello, everyone.

Let me begin this morning by confirming that Canada and the United States have once again agreed to extend by 30 days the current measures in place along the border.

This is an important decision that will keep people in both of our countries safe.

I also want to address the tragic Royal Canadian Air Force plane crash in Kamloops over the weekend.

My thoughts, and the thoughts of all Canadians, are with the families of Captain Casey, Captain MacDougall, and the entire Snowbirds team.

This has been a very difficult few weeks for members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

As we mourn, we remember Captain Casey as a proud Nova Scotian and an outstanding servicewoman.

A journalist who turned her talents to the Forces, she will be remembered not just for her professionalism, but for her sense of humour and for her kindness.

As we honour her, we pay tribute to the bravery of all those who serve today.

Our women and men in uniform are always there for us.

Serving overseas, to defend the values we hold dear. Working here at home to care for our seniors, and lift our spirits with flyovers. So, to everyone who so proudly wears the maple leaf—thank you. You do your country proud today and every day.

As we start to carefully and gradually re-open our economy, a lot of people will be wondering what that means for them.

If you’ve been laid off, you’re probably waiting to see whether your employer will start up your workplace and rehire you.

To help them do that, we’ve extended the wage subsidy through the summer.

This is about getting people back to work, and giving businesses the confidence to re-open, rehire, and even grow.

Because the way our economy will recover, and the way our country will remain resilient and successful, is by getting Canadians back to work.

Many business owners are already benefiting from this program, to rehire and maintain the crucial link between workplace and employee.

To employers looking to start up again: please, rehire your workers.

Use the wage subsidy for their paycheque.

That’s what it’s there for.

And for businesses that still need help, today we’re taking another step forward. 

Today, I can announce that we are expanding the eligibility of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

Over 600,000 small businesses have already received a $40,000 loan through the program.

But we know that there are still more people who need help.

If you are the sole owner-operator of a business, if your business relies on contractors, or if you have a family-owned business and you pay employees through dividends, you will now qualify.

For example, for a hair salon owner with stylists who rent chairs, for a local physiotherapist, for an independent gym owner with contracted trainers—this is for you.

We’ll have more details very soon about when you’ll be able to apply.

We heard you when you said you needed a hand.

We are working hard to ensure that people keep their jobs or can return to work, and we are doing so by helping small businesses, which are so important to our communities, to maintain operations.

That’s why Minister Ng is also working on potential solutions to help business owners and entrepreneurs who operate through their personal bank account, as opposed to a business account, or have yet to file a tax return, such as newly created businesses.

And, as we announced last week, there’s new funding for Regional Development Agencies too, which you can always contact if you still don’t meet these expanded criteria.  

Businesses like yours are the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our communities.

Because that’s how Canada will be able to come back strong.

And whether it’s with the CEBA or the expanded wage subsidy—we’re in your corner.

Of course, in order to get through this crisis, we also need enough medical equipment and personal protective equipment to keep people healthy and safe. 

So this morning, I would like to give you an update on personal protective equipment.

Over the past few weeks alone, we have doubled our inventory of surgical masks and face shields.

This week, and in the weeks to come, hundreds of thousands of hospital gowns, glasses, face shields, and swabs will be delivered to the provinces and territories.

We have also received an order of ZOLL ventilators from the United States.

And because we want to use Canadian-made equipment as much as possible, we are also increasing our production capacity. 

We now have 15 contracts across the country to manufacture hospital gowns.

We will also start receiving gowns from Montréal-based Samuelsohn by the end of the month.

I want to end this morning with some good news, something we haven’t had enough of lately.

As of today, Canada now has its first university in the North.

Yukon College is becoming the new Yukon University.

And as a cornerstone for this step, our government has already provided $26 million for a new science building.

To everyone who helped make this milestone happen—congratulations.

Not just for students, but for all of us, this is truly something to celebrate.

Young people have the power to change our country for the better.

And it’s up to us to make sure that no matter where they live, they have the tools to chase their dreams and succeed.

Today, more than ever, we need their vision and their creativity.

Because that is our path forward.

Thank you.