Government requests recall of the House of Commons to help Canadians during COVID-19
Hello everyone. Happy Sunday.
Thank you for being here again today.
For several weeks now, public health experts have been asking Canadians to do their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
People have to work from home. Cancel evenings with friends, or have them online instead. Limit travel and avoid gatherings.
I know it’s not always easy, and first and foremost, I want to thank all of you who are following the guidelines.
We all must do our part to slow the spread of the virus.
We all must make sacrifices to protect not only our own health, but the health of others, too.
The adjustments people have been making this week are encouraging, but we need to keep going.
I want to once again thank everyone who is working overtime to keep us safe and keep the country moving.
Hospital staff, border agents, store clerks, cashiers, postal workers, delivery folks, pharmacists, cleaning staff, first responders, truck drivers, train conductors, and so many others – they’ve been working every day so we can work from home and practice social distancing.
Thank you for being there for us.
Know that all Canadians are grateful for your service.
I know that many of you are worried about what might happen next.
You’re wondering how long this is going to last. You’re wondering about your job and your savings.
You’re worried about your kids not being in school.
And we get it.
These are uncertain times and families across the country are concerned.
That’s why this week, we took important steps to support Canadians, protect jobs, and limit the spread of the virus.
We unveiled an $82 billion plan to help people and businesses who have fallen on hard times because of COVID-19.
As part of this plan, we want to boost the Canada Child Benefit, introduce new benefits to help people who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance, and supplement the GST Credit, amongst many other things.
Our government also announced new funding for research and a new strategy to mobilize industry to fight COVID-19.
After conversations with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, I can now confirm that the House of Commons will be recalled on Tuesday at noon, so we can pass emergency legislation that will put our plan into motion.
On that note, I want to thank the House Leaders for their co-operation and the members of the opposition for their efforts as we work together to slow the spread of this virus.
I know that together, we can protect Canadians, save jobs, and set the groundwork for our economy to rebound after this crisis.
In addition to our economic strategy, we have also announced new travel restrictions.
We have temporarily closed our borders to international travellers.
We have also reached an agreement with the United States to ban non-essential travel between our two countries.
And we continue to encourage Canadians abroad to return home.
But I know that many people are still having trouble finding a flight back to Canada.
Yesterday, I announced that our government was working with Canadian airlines to help Canadians come back to the country.
The first flight from Morocco by Air Canada arrived last night, and there will be more flights added.
WestJet has announced that over 30 flights have been planned from Monday to Wednesday to help Canadians get back home.
Air Transat is currently working with Global Affairs Canada to get special permission to fly in areas where the airspace is closed. It expects to bring back thousands of clients over the next few days.
And, when there are seats available on Sunwing flights to Canada, the company is offering tickets free of charge to those who need them.
You can find more details on what we’ve announced so far on the government website at Canada.ca.
And since there’s more support coming this week, that’s where you’ll find all the information you need to get the help you deserve.
We’re facing an unprecedented situation and I know a lot of people are very worried.
And when you call Service Canada and you’re not able to talk to someone, or when you’re abroad and you can’t find a flight home – that creates even more anxiety.
I want to assure you that the entire public service is working around the clock to solve these problems and give you the help you deserve.
From the start, we told you we would be there for you. We promised you that our government would do everything we could to support you.
We have taken a number of important steps in the last few weeks, but know that the work continues.
We won’t let you down. You can count on us.
I want to thank you all for helping us slow the spread of COVID-19.
To those of you who usually spend your Sundays in a place of worship, thank you for staying home today.
I know it’s not easy, but it is deeply appreciated.
And to all the kids out there – all of a sudden you’ve heard you can’t go on play dates or have sleepovers. Your playgrounds and schools have closed and your March Break was certainly different than what you’d hoped for. I get it from my kids as well. They’re watching a whole lot more movies, but they miss their friends. And at the same time, they’re worried about what’s going on out there in the world and what their future may hold.
I know this is a big change but we have to do this not just for ourselves, but for our grandparents, our nurses, our doctors, and everyone working at our hospitals.
And you kids are helping a lot.
The doctors and scientists have been clear that social distancing, which means staying at least 2 meters apart and staying home as much as possible, is the best way to help each other.
And you’re having to wash your hands – a lot.
So, a special thanks to all you kids.
Thank you for helping your parents work from home, for sacrificing your usual day, for doing math class around the kitchen table, and for trusting in science.
We’re going to have more to say to you soon, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, let’s make sure we all do our part.
Let’s fight this together.
Thank you everyone.