Prime Minister Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 situation
Happy Saturday, everyone.
Saturday’s usually a time where we get to get together with friends, spend some time with the kids, with family. Obviously, this is another different Saturday as we've had over the past few weeks. We need you to continue to stay home. We need you to continue to do everything we can to flatten the curve. Obviously, there are sacrifices we're all making, but it's beginning to work.
We see promising news out of B.C. that over the past couple of weeks the measures taken in place by so many Canadians, the choices that Canadians have made have had an impact on the overall numbers, but we need to keep it up. We need to continue to do what is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which means continuing the social distancing, continuing to not go out unless you absolutely have to, continuing to think about caring for each other, thinking about protecting each other, and thinking about protecting our healthcare workers and those essential workers who are doing such extraordinary service to keep things going, to keep us safe at the same time.
It is a responsibility that we all share, to stay at home and try to do everything we can to prevent this pandemic from continuing or hitting more people. It is going to be extremely important that even on a nice Saturday, we stay home, we stay in isolation, and we do not take measures that will put our friends, our loved ones, or our workers in the health care system at risk. But as you know, we have encouraged people to stay home, especially if they have symptoms of VIDOC-19.
We've been telling people, particularly if you feel the onset of symptoms of a cold, of COVID-19, you need to stay home. You need to isolate. You need to not travel. People have been following that, but I can enhance that we have formalized some of the domestic travel rules. As of Monday, at noon, people showing any signs whatsoever of COVID-19 will be denied boarding on all domestic flights and intercity passenger trains.
Today, I am announcing that Transport Canada has brought in new rules for travel. Of course, it has been said for a long time that if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must stop travelling, you must stay at home. From now on, starting Monday at noon, if people try to travel by air domestically, or by train between our cities, they will not be able to do so if they have symptoms, any symptoms of COVID‑19.
We must continue with social distancing; we must continue to protect ourselves; we must continue to make responsible decisions, and I want to once again thank the millions and millions of Canadians who are doing exactly that. It is extremely important to be able to...to keep ourselves safe, to make sure that when this crisis is over, we will be able to resume life as normal and continue to have a prosperous and healthy country. But it requires everyone to do their part today, and for the days and weeks to come.
Last night, I had a chance to do something I love to do, I had a chance to spend some time with the members of my council...the Prime Minister's Youth Council. For me, spending time with young people, even if it is in virtual meetings, is one of my favourite things because it energizes me, it helps me understand how interested and involved young people are. I was with Minister Bardish Chagger and two parliamentary secretaries, Adam van Koeverden and Darren Fisher. And we had a meeting, an open conversation, with the Council youth from across the country.
The conversations I was able to have with the young people on the Prime Minister's Youth Council last night were extraordinary. Obviously, lots of questions and comments around COVID-19 and vulnerable populations from the north, to internet access and broadband access for rural communities. Questions about what young people can do. Questions around what they can tell their friends who are doing well, or not doing well. Talks, conversations about mental health as well, because obviously this is a moment of anxiety and stress for so many people. This was a great conversation, like so many of the great conversations being had amongst Canadians across the country.
Our young people, specifically, we’ve been counting on them over the past years to continue to step up in the fight against climate change; in the fight against poverty; in supporting a better world internationally and at home, and we continue to need young people to be that vehicle for building a better future and sharing messages. Obviously young people, like every generation, are chafing at the bit in terms of having to be self-isolated, particularly at a time when we tell our young people, at an age where we say, now is the time to go out and discover the world; whether it’s with a backpack or in a laboratory, make new discoveries, challenge yourselves, challenge the world. And they’re looking at their plans for the spring and their summer jobs and they’re realizing that there is a massive anxiety and a massive uncertainty out there.
But that doesn’t mean we’re powerless, it doesn’t mean they're powerless. On the contrary, this generation of young people is so committed and engaged to creating a better world, that we need you to keep leading the way you are. We need you to share your messages with friends; we need you to lead by example; we need you to be challenging and discovering the world in virtual ways. There are ways that you can continue to shape the future we all live in every single day, not just with your choices but with your leadership, and that’s what we need.
We need our youth to continue to challenge this world, to continue to push what is possible, to continue to want to be the leaders we need. And in these times of crisis, we need it even more. So I'm counting on you, but I know that our present and our future is always in very good hands with our young people.
We're going to be there for you, too. As young people, there are many of you who will qualify for the Canada allowance, the Canada emergency response benefit. There are others who will be supported in your work...in your part-time work by businesses because of the assistance we give to small and medium-sized businesses. But we will continue to look for ways to ensure that you have confidence, not just in the present but in the future as well.
We have taken significant measures to help people. Yes, young people who will… many of them qualify for the CERB and be helped through the payroll subsidy, that we’re…the wage subsidy we’re creating for businesses and bringing up to 75%. But there is always going to be more to do, and we’re going to keep listening and looking at how we can make sure that Canadians get through this in the best possible way, by supporting them now and ensuring that we can roar back stronger once this is all done.
That’s why we put forward big measures to help businesses over the past few days. Increasing the wage subsidy to 75% means businesses across the country are now realizing they’re going be able to keep people on their payroll, keep that relationship going between them and their workers, and even rehire people who they didn't think they’d be able to support over the past two weeks. We know that what we do now to hold things together, to give people the ability to stay home, to isolate, to hold through this difficult time is key to how we will come back stronger afterwards. But we need to stick together, and we need to do it.
We need to look at everything we can do, each and every one of us, to get through these times. That is why we have provided assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, and why we are in the process of facilitating access to credit as well. Liquidity is going to be extremely important for people these days, to be able to take out loans and to borrow. For example, the banks are making $40,000 available, interest-free for the first year, and $10,000 of that will be forgivable if conditions are met, if things go well in the years to come. We're going to work together to make sure we have the ability to get through this.
Our $107 billion plan has been passed in Parliament. We were able to really start delivering that aid to Canadians. We know that people are anxious for it to get to them. We are working tirelessly to be able to deliver for Canadians quickly in these unprecedented times, and that is exactly what we are going to do together. The Canada emergency response benefit is going to provide $2,000 every month for the next four months, so I invite you to register in advance on My Account, on the Canada Revenue Agency website so that you can apply as soon as the portal is launched in the next few days. And if you can, sign up for direct deposit so that the money goes directly into your account.
The Canada emergency response benefit will give people $2,000 every month for the next four months to help get us through this time. I know an awful lot of people have showed interest in it already. My recommendation to you is to go on the Canada Revenue Agency site and sign up in advance through the My Account links. Once you do that, in the coming days when we're able to start actually opening applications, you'll have a head start. And if you can, please opt for the direct deposit option which will let you get this money into your bank accounts sooner and is simpler for everyone as well.
There are lots of things that we're doing to make sure that we get through this together. But everything we do; we need to do together. Every single individual, every single household has its role to play in making sure that Canada and Canadians do well through this. We also have a role to play in making sure that the world gets through this, both by modeling solutions and demonstrating what can be done when we all work together. This is going to be key, particularly as parts of the world that are much more vulnerable are beginning to get harder hit. We need to be able to get through this so we can help rebuild a world in which people can prosper and everyone has a real and fair chance to succeed.
I know Canadians are up to this challenge. I know we're going to do this together.
I have tremendous confidence in Canadians, in our ability to get through this, because we're doing what we always do in times of difficulty, we're going to be there for each other.
Thank you very much, everybody, and have a good Saturday.