Announcing support for fish and seafood processors
Hello everyone. Happy Saturday.
Before we get started today, I wanted to thank the organizers of yesterday’s vigil for the victims of the Nova Scotia shooting.
The pandemic may have prevented us from gathering in person, but we still found a way to come together to celebrate the lives of the victims and support their families.
It was an extremely moving tribute, and it was just yet another example of how Canadians are there for each other in difficult times.
Once again, my thoughts and the thoughts of all Canadians are with the families and loved ones of the victims.
This week, our government announced more targeted support for Canadians who are going through an especially hard time because of COVID-19.
With the Canada Emergency Community Support Fund, we’re giving more resources to charities and non-profits so that they can continue their important work.
We also unveiled our $9-billion plan to help students and recent grads get through the next few months.
Because of COVID-19, there aren’t as many jobs for students as last year.
And without a job, it can be hard to pay for tuition or the day-to-day basics.
So, we launched the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which gives students at least $1,250 a month from May to August.
At the same time, we’re creating 76,000 jobs for young people in sectors that need an extra hand right now or on the front line of the pandemic.
And if students prefer to volunteer and help in the fight against COVID-19, they’ll be eligible for a $1,000 to $5,000 grant through the new Canada Student Service Grant.
For small companies, we announced yesterday that we had reached agreements with all the provinces and territories to decrease their rent by 75% for the months of April, May and June.
I would also like to take this opportunity to remind employers of all sizes that they will be able to start applying for the Emergency Wage Subsidy on Monday.
In the meantime, you can visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s website to calculate what the subsidy will cover.
Our government is providing assistance to meet the immediate and urgent needs of workers and businesses.
At the same time, we are also thinking about what lies ahead for us over the next few months.
We are providing more funding for medical research into COVID-19 and the development of vaccines.
This week, we created the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, which will be responsible for tracing infections and gaining a better understanding of how we can immunize ourselves against the virus.
From the very beginning of the outbreak, our objectives as a government have been clear.
Help those who need it most.
Support the small businesses that make our communities better places to call home.
And lay the groundwork for our economy to come roaring back once this crisis is over.
In the past few weeks, our government introduced a series of measures to do just that, but we know there are more people to help. More work to be done.
So today, we’re announcing $62.5 million to support fish and seafood processors through this crisis.
As we fight COVID-19, people who work in fish and seafood processing plants across the country are playing a crucial role when it comes to getting food to our tables.
This funding will help ensure that they can safely continue their important work.
We’re giving more money to processors so that they can purchase personal protective equipment for workers, adapt to health protocols, and support other social distancing measures.
For example, fish processing plants could buy new equipment, like freezers or storage space, so that their product – food for Canadians – can stay good while they respond to a changing market.
With this announcement, we’re giving fish and seafood processors more resources to adapt to the many challenges brought on by the pandemic and, above all, keep workers safe.
Our fish sector is interconnected, so these investments will also have a positive impact on fish harvesters.
On that note, I want to take a moment to recognize the tremendous work that is being done by every person who makes Canada’s food system possible, including our food producers and fish harvesters.
You keep our grocery stores stocked and our families fed.
I know that the past few weeks have been really tough on you too – whether it be financially or emotionally.
I want to thank you all for everything you do for us.
You’re providing an essential service to the country.
We know that you have specific needs and asks right now, and we are actively exploring additional ways to support you as we move forward.
Today, we are announcing a $62.5 million investment to support fish and seafood processors during the crisis.
The people who work in this sector feed our families every day.
We are making this investment to enable them to safely continue their important work.
Processors can use this funding to buy personal protective equipment for their workers, adapt to health protocols and support other social distancing measures.
Fish processing plants could use this funding to buy refrigerators or space to store their goods so they can sell them later on.
As a result of today’s announcement, seafood and fish processors will have the resources required to face the challenges of the pandemic, and above all, protect the health and safety of workers.
Since our seafood sectors are closely interconnected, fish harvesters will also benefit from these investments.
On that note, I would like to take a moment to recognize the tremendous work that is being done by everyone who puts food on our tables.
You put fresh, locally grown food on shelves in our grocery stores.
I know that the past few weeks have also been very hard on you financially and emotionally.
I would like to thank you for everything you do for us.
We know that you have specific asks and needs, and we will continue to explore several ways to assist you.
As I mentioned yesterday, I spoke with the provincial and territorial premiers, and, among other things, we discussed gradually re-opening the economy.
We are working with chief medical officers on principles and standards we will all use.
The economy and realities of each province are unique, and the timing and the specific steps will differ from one province to the next.
Having said that, important coordination work must be done nationally to prevent any confusion.
We are working on a plan based on science, data and expert advice which reflects our common ambition to see our country through this.
The next phase will be crucial.
If we don’t take the right steps, we could lose all the progress we’ve made so far.
We will continue our discussions. We are going to keep working together to ensure that all Canadians are safe.
Yesterday, I had a call with the First Ministers and we talked about putting together a joint statement outlining what needs to be done to re-open the economy.
We’re working together with Canada’s chief medical officers to establish principles and guidelines for us all.
We have to be mindful that the economy and the realities of each province and territory are unique, so the timing and specific measures will be different across jurisdictions.
We need a coordinated approach nationally to avoid any confusion amongst Canadians.
We’re working together on a plan based on science, data, and expert advice that lays out our common ambition to see our country through this.
If we don’t get the next phase right, we risk losing all the progress we’ve made so far.
These conversations are ongoing and we will keep working together for all Canadians.
Tomorrow, there won’t be any press conferences either by doctors or myself, so I want to close this morning by talking to young Canadians as I do every weekend.
To all the kids watching out there – you’re doing great.
Keep helping out around the house.
Try to keep up with your school work.
And above all, stay positive.
This is a tough time but we’re going to get through this together.
And to young people out there – many of you are students who need extra help and we’re here for you.
This week, we announced a series of measures to support you during this crisis.
But we need your help too.
This is a moment in our country’s history that we will look back on and ask each of ourselves what we did for our community. For our country.
What did we do to serve our country? To help the world?
And as you look at what you can do this summer, please remember that there are seniors who need your help.
There are frontline workers, including in our medical professions, who could use a helping hand.
And there are agricultural farmers and producers who’d love to see you step up to help feed Canadians.
Look at how you can use your energy, your drive, your vision for making the world a better place, and make it so.
How we get through this as a country depends on each of us. The choices we make, the actions we take.
So this weekend, stay home.
Keep washing your hands.
And if you need to go out for groceries, keep at least two meters apart from each other.
And think about what you can do in the fight against COVID-19 to support our frontline workers, to help your community.
I know we will help each other to get through this because that’s just who we are as Canadians.
Thank you very much. Have a great weekend.