Remarks on recent measures to support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic
Happy Saturday everyone.
These days, a number of Canadians are going through hard times because of COVID-19.
The pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for our country, and Canadians are suffering the consequences.
However, some people and sectors are more deeply affected than others.
Therefore, this week, we announced other measures to help those that need them the most.
First, we are working on concluding an agreement with all of the provinces and territories to increase the salaries of essential workers.
These people have been on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 since the start of the crisis. They are doing incredible work.
The best way to thank them is to ensure that they are well paid and protected.
And this week, thanks to this agreement, we are in the process of taking an important step towards putting more money in their pockets.
We also announced more support to help the food sector get through this crisis.
We are giving food processors more money to ensure the security of their workers.
We are planning on specific measures to help cattle and pork farmers, and dairy producers, adapt to market changes.
We are implementing a program that will help the government purchase products that are likely to be wasted, to redistribute them to charity organizations.
All in all, our government has proposed an additional $5 billion in lending capacity and a total investment of $510 million to support food security since the beginning of the crisis.
And as I said earlier this week, if we have to do more, we will do more.
For the past few weeks, our government has been focused on getting people the help they need as quickly as possible.
But to come out of this stronger than ever, we also have to think long-term.
We need to lay the groundwork now, so our economy can come roaring back.
And that’s what we’re doing with measures like the Canada Emergency Business Account and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
So far, more than half a million small businesses have received a loan through the CEBA.
And less than two weeks since launching the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, employers have applied for subsidies for almost two million workers.
Our government is giving employers more resources, so they can stay in business and keep people on the payroll during this crisis.
Maintaining the connection between employer and employee will be key not just to help people get back on their feet, but also to our economy.
In that vein, we announced yesterday that we would be extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy beyond June.
At the same time, we’re working with our partners from around the world to beat COVID-19 for good.
This pandemic is a global issue.
Keeping Canadians safe and restarting our economy means defeating the virus not just at home, but wherever it is found.
So earlier this week, we announced new investments to accelerate the global development of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, testing, and research, including research being done here in Canada.
Over the past few weeks, we established new assistance programs for workers and businesses, but we know that the work is far from complete.
As the situation evolves, needs and challenges also evolve and we adapt our response accordingly.
We are still listening to Canadians and still looking for ways to support them.
I want to close by asking all the moms to step out of the room for a minute so I can talk to your kids.
I’ll give you a second.
Okay, tomorrow is Mother’s Day, kids.
It’s a special day for all the people who are mothers to us – our moms, stepmoms, grandmothers, aunts, and older sisters.
So, let’s show them how much we love and care about them.
You might want to get up early to make her breakfast or ask dad to help you get her some flowers.
Or if you’re not together this year because of the virus or other reasons, you can draw her a card or set up a video call.
Whatever you do, I’m sure what you’ll choose to do will make her day and express how much you love her, how much you need her, and how much she has your full support and full love during this difficult time, but all the time as well.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.
It is the opportunity to show our mothers how much we love them.
Maybe you’ll get up earlier to make her breakfast tomorrow morning. Maybe you prefer to buy her flowers or even draw her a card.
Regardless of what you decide to do, I am sure you will make her day by sharing how much you love her, how you will be there for her, and how we are all going to be there for each other during this difficult period.
Take advantage of this time and have fun. We will get through this together.