Updating Canadians on supplies and support for shelters
The last few weeks have been hard in different ways for everyone.
You’re worried about your job or your business.
You’re concerned about your health, or the health of an elderly parent.
No matter what this has meant for you, I know you’re looking for answers.
Knowing where we are now, and where we might be in the coming weeks and months, is how we can all figure out our response.
For you, that could be planning on how to make sure the kids keep learning even though they’re at home.
For our government, the numbers and data compiled by our experts are critical to understanding the scope of this pandemic and informing the decisions we make to keep you safe.
And we’ve made sure you can access the most reliable, accurate information available to us at Canada.ca/coronavirus.
We’re going to keep releasing up-to-date data on a daily basis and using it to inform our decisions.
And we’ll continue working with the provinces and territories on getting new information to have a complete, national picture that we’ll share with you.
Regardless of the varying models or predictions, one thing is consistently clear.
The measures that have been put in place by all orders of government, from closing schools to staying home, are saving lives.
But this will only keep working if everyone continues to do their part.
If everyone takes their duty – to nurses and doctors, to the elderly, and to the vulnerable – seriously.
As seriously as if it were the life of their parent or their child on the line.
Because it is.
The cashier at the store is someone’s brother.
The paramedic saving lives is someone’s wife.
That’s what’s at stake here.
The lives of the people we love.
The lives of the people our neighbours love.
So do your part.
Wash your hands, stay two metres away from each other.
And above all, stay home.
We’ve been staying home for several weeks now.
That’s what we need to do, in addition to keeping our distance and washing our hands.
In fact, home is where most of us feel the safest right now.
But imagine if you were more afraid to stay home than to face the pandemic.
Unfortunately, that’s the reality for far too many Canadians.
It’s what women who are victims of violence face on a daily basis.
No mother should have to choose between keeping her children in a home where they are in danger, or taking them to a place where they might get sick.
So we have invested $40 million in women’s shelters and centres that help victims of sexual assault.
And $10 million has been set aside for emergency shelters for Indigenous women and children fleeing violence.
This funding will help women’s shelters take all the necessary steps to protect people, not only from violence but also from COVID-19.
To help the homeless, funding for the Reaching Home program has been increased by more than $157 million.
This will allow program officials to buy things like additional beds, or rent new facilities so that people don’t have to sleep too close to one another.
We are sending money to communities that need it, from Vancouver to Saskatoon, to Toronto to Halifax.
It’s not just about giving people a safe place to go to escape violence or to avoid having to sleep on the street.
It’s also about protecting all members of our society from COVID-19—and that includes the most vulnerable.
No one should have to choose between being somewhere they’re unsafe, and risking getting COVID-19.
That’s why we’ve invested $40 million for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres across the country.
And for Indigenous women and children fleeing violence, we’re providing $10 million for emergency shelters.
For other shelters, we’ve boosted funding for the Reaching Home program by over $157 million.
This will help buy things like physical barriers, or rent new space to keep people safe.
The communities that need this funding have now been identified, and money is getting to them.
For people from Victoria to Hamilton, and Regina to St. John’s, help has arrived.
I know we’re asking a lot right now.
To stay home, to not see friends, to close your business temporarily.
It’s not easy.
I get that.
But these sacrifices are necessary.
The price of acting otherwise is just too steep.
To those who are sick right now or have family in hospital in the ICU, to those who have lost a loved one or a friend: we’re thinking of you.
We’re here for you.
And you remind us of what’s on the line.
We all need to take physical distancing very seriously.
Done right, these measures will save lives and bridge us slowly but surely back to normal.
At the same time, we’re working around the clock to get Canada the resources we need.
In the next 48 hours, we will be receiving a shipment of millions of masks by a chartered cargo flight.
We’re also working with provinces to transport their medical supplies when possible.
Items ordered by Quebec will be on this flight.
Our government has also leased a warehouse in China to help collect and distribute these items as quickly as possible.
And going forward, the flights we’re chartering to get the materials here include Canadian companies Cargojet and Air Canada.
I want to take a moment to thank everyone – whether you’re working in a warehouse, flying the plane, or part of the ground crew – for your dedication.
These are vital supplies for people on the front lines, and are key to fighting the virus.
People in our hospitals are saving lives every single day.
They can’t be worried about running out of the equipment that’ll keep them and you safe.
And for everyone else, to give our country the best shot possible, we’re doing everything we can to support you while you do your part.
So this weekend, stay at home.
Protect your loved ones and our frontline workers.
I want to take a moment to talk to kids again today.
Even at home, there’s lots of stuff going on, there’s lots of stuff to do.
I’ll be holding a videoconference tomorrow with Dr. Tam to talk through some of your questions.
I know a lot of you have sent them in and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
Tomorrow, you’ll also have a chance to ask someone who knows better than anyone else about staying inside – an astronaut.
Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen will be live on YouTube tomorrow to talk with you so ask your parents to help send in a question ahead of time.
To kids out there, I know you have a lot of questions.
So listen to my videoconference tomorrow with Dr. Tam, where I’ll answer some of your questions.
And don’t forget that Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen will also be live on YouTube tomorrow.
To protect your wages and the economy, we’ve introduced a three-point plan that will allow us to safeguard jobs, support small businesses and help those who no longer have a pay cheque.
To protect your health and the health of all our essential workers, we are working with a number of companies to ensure the production and distribution of medical supplies and personal protective equipment.
We will help you get through this.
But we need you to do your part.
I know I can count on you all.
This weekend, stay home.
Save our front-line workers.
Save our lives.