Remarks on the new COVID-19 modelling
Good morning, everyone.
I know many of you have seen reports about my mum.
I want to let you know that I’ve spoken with her and she’s doing just fine.
I’m thankful to everyone who has reached out, and want to also thank the first responders who were there doing an extraordinary job.
This morning, our thoughts go out to those of you who live in Fort McMurray as you deal with spring flooding.
Minister Blair has spoken with Mayor Scott about the situation, and we stand ready to help.
To all the first responders and volunteers out there placing sandbags, including around the hospital – thank you.
Across the country, there are other communities dealing with flooding right now, too.
So to everyone – continue listening to officials as they work to keep you and your family safe.
This comes during what’s already a tough time but I know Canadians will continue to work together.
Shortly, I’ll join Members of Parliament from across the country for a virtual meeting of the House of Commons.
Despite the challenges of this pandemic, our democratic institutions are innovating and finding ways to keep serving people.
Parliamentarians are working together with the same goal: supporting Canadians and keeping our country strong.
As part of this sitting, at noon, Minister Hajdu will provide an update on the new COVID-19 modelling.
And Dr. Tam will also do the same.
Based on the best data available, this is an updated picture of where we think we are right now, and where we think things will go from here.
They’ll provide more details but here’s the bottom line.
The measures we have taken so far are working.
In fact, in many parts of the country, the curve has flattened.
But we’re not out of the woods yet.
We are in the middle of the most serious public health emergency Canada has ever seen, and if we lift measures too quickly, we might lose the progress we’ve made.
So we all need to be very careful, for ourselves and especially for the most vulnerable, like our parents, grandparents, and elders in long-term care facilities.
Earlier this month when we released the first modelling, I said that the path ahead was up to us.
And the same holds true today.
How many new cases there are, how many losses we have to mourn, whether our hospitals can continue to cope – it’s all up to all of us.
You’ve already stepped up to help your family, friends, neighbours, and front line care workers stay safe.
And your governments across the country are stepping up as well.
We are a big country and we don’t always agree on everything.
But right now, the premiers and the federal government are working together to fight this crisis.
We need common guidelines to make sure that the decisions being taken across the country are grounded in a shared understanding and appreciation of what science and experts are telling us.
Shortly, we will be releasing the shared principles on restarting the economy, agreed to by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments.
Let me be clear: these are not the specific measures when you can go back to work or school or when you can see your neighbours or extended family or friends.
This framework will lay out the things that need to happen before we take any next steps.
Restarting our economy will be gradual and careful, and will be guided by science.
Here’s what the guidelines mean for you.
Controlling transmission is key.
You already know that if your neighbourhood doesn’t have new cases, if your province is flattening the curve – this is a good sign for being able to look at slowly lifting some restrictions.
So we need to know where things stand.
To reopen the economy, there must be enough capacity to test and trace COVID-19 to control any new spread.
For you, that means knowing that you’ll be safe at work when you go back.
You’ll see lots more testing, and if someone around you does test positive, you’ll be notified quickly, so you can isolate.
At work, there will also need to be specific measures and more equipment to keep you safe.
And for hospitals, we need to make sure they can continue to cope, not just for COVID-19 patients, but for everyone who needs care.
And for certain groups who are very vulnerable, like seniors and those in long-term care facilities, strong measures will have to be in place for longer.
The virus is taking a different toll on different people.
We must be mindful of that.
Whether you’re facing domestic violence, are living in a remote community or a long-term care facility or working on the front lines – we’re here for you.
Our priority is keeping all Canadians safe, while getting back to normal as much as we can.
Today, we will be publishing the latest COVID-19 modelling.
The virus has slowed down in many areas of the country.
But we’re not out of the woods yet.
We are facing one of the most serious public health emergencies our country has ever seen.
And if we left restrictions too quickly, we could lose all the progress we’ve made.
Although the trends are encouraging, we must remain careful.
And in some places, especially in long-term care facilities, there is still a lot we need to do.
But, as I said before, each of us will decide what happens next.
How many new cases there will be.
How many families will be in mourning.
And whether our health care system will hold up.
All of this is up to all of us.
The good news is that people are doing the right thing to protect one another.
But we have to keep it up.
Keep staying at home.
Go grocery shopping only once a week or less.
Stay two metres away from others.
And follow public health guidelines.
We will soon be releasing all of the shared principles on restarting the economy, which the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have agreed on.
These principles establish the conditions that must be in place before we can start lifting restrictions.
For example, there must be sufficient COVID-19 testing and tracing capacity to allow us to control the spread, and that’s why we’re increasing testing and putting the necessary tools in place as quickly as possible.
There must be specific measures and equipment in place to protect you at work.
And for certain groups that are especially vulnerable, like seniors and those living in long-term care facilities, stricter measures will have to stay in place longer.
Our priority is keeping Canadians safe as life starts getting back to normal.
Today, I also want to provide an update on personal protective equipment, which, along with physical distancing, is key to keeping people safe.
Every few days, we receive new deliveries of vital supplies for our front line workers.
This week, we will be shipping over six million surgical masks to the provinces and territories.
More than 100,000 face shields that we ordered from Bauer and Toronto Stamp are also ready, and will be shipped out soon with more on the way.
Everyone deserves to be safe on the job.
Indeed, on this National Day of Mourning, we remember those who died, were injured, or fell ill because of their work.
And this year, we pay tribute to the thousands of front line workers across the country who deserve not just our thanks, but our support.
Today, I also want to update you on the personal protective equipment that protects front line workers.
We are receiving shipments and deliveries of medical equipment several times a week.
This week, we will be sending over six million surgical masks to the provinces and territories.
The more than 100,000 face shields we ordered from Bauer and Toronto Stamp are also ready and will be sent very shortly.
Everyone deserves to be safe at work.
On this National Day of Mourning, we remember those who died, were hurt, or became ill while performing their duties.
And this year, we salute our front line workers all across the country: they deserve not only our thanks, but also our support.
I also want to remind everyone that businesses that need the emergency wage subsidy can now apply.
Over 44,000 businesses have applied online since yesterday.
To get through this, we must work together, and we must stay united. Now more than ever, we have to stand up against discrimination and division.
There is no place for racism against Asian Canadians in our neighbourhoods. There is no place for antisemitism, which B’nai Brith Canada’s report found to be on the rise, in our communities.
Because hatred of any sort has no place in Canada.
Today, and every day, we are stronger together.