Remarks on the measures taken to support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic
Hello. Good morning, everyone.
I’m pleased to be here with Dr. Tam and Dr. Njoo.
Minister LeBlanc is joining us virtually.
Minister Rodriguez is also here with us to answer questions about Parliamentary hapennings.
Fighting COVID-19 is a Team Canada effort.
Right from day one, we’ve been working with all orders of government to keep people safe. And during this second wave, that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do.
Yesterday, I had my 20th First Ministers’ Meeting with the Premiers to discuss what Canadians need for the weeks and months to come.
To begin with, it’s vital that frontline workers have access to personal protective equipment.
To date, the federal government has shipped almost 190 million pieces of PPE to the provinces and territories.
At the same time, we’re providing support staff who can make over 14,000 contact tracing calls a day.
We’re also ramping up our testing at national labs across the country to help the provinces and territories with their surge capacity.
In this second wave, just like in the first, our government stands ready to help our partners across the country keep Canadians safe.
The fight against COVID-19 is a team effort, right across Canada.
We have been working with all levels of government, from day one, to protect you.
And that is exactly what we’re going to keep doing during the second wave.
Yesterday, I had my 20th meeting with the provincial and territorial premiers since the start of this pandemic.
We discussed what Canadians are going to need in the coming weeks and months.
To begin, it is crucial that our front-line workers have access to personal protective equipment in sufficient quantities.
So far, the federal government has delivered nearly 190 million pieces of personal protective equipment to the provinces and territories.
At the same time, we are also helping support staff who can make more than 14,000 contact tracing calls a day, and national laboratories across the country are helping increase testing capacity.
During the second wave, as with the first, out government is ready to help our partners to ensure Canadians are safe.
COVID-19 isn’t just a health crisis – it’s an economic one too.
Workers and businesses across the country need support during this tough time. The fact is that the second wave has the potential to hit people really hard. So we’re going to keep stepping up to help.
Last week, I announced that we were creating the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which provides direct rent support to tenants.
This is in addition to the extension of the wage subsidy, and the expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account.
These programs have been – and will continue to be – a lifeline for small business owners. Just take Amarjeet Chandok who owns Taza Xpress in Brampton. When the pandemic first hit, Amarjeet worried about whether his business would survive.
But, by using the wage subsidy, the rent support program, and the Canada Emergency Business Account, he was able to keep his employees on the payroll and the lights on.
We’ll continue to be there for people like Amarjeet, and for small businesses right across the country that create good jobs and make our communities stronger.
COVID-19 is both a health and economic crisis.
Workers and businesses throughout the country need support during these difficult times.
We know that the second wave could hit very hard.
We are here to help.
Last week, I announced that we were creating the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which goes directly to tenants.
This support builds on the extension of the wage subsidy and the expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account.
These programs have and will continue to assist small business owners.
These businesses create good jobs and are at the heart of our communities.
In our fight against COVID-19, we need all the tools we can get.
With over 4.5 million downloads, the free COVID Alert app is a powerful way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
If you download the app, and come into contact with a person who then tests positive for COVID-19 and also has the app, it will alert you to take action.
This helps you to do your part to stop the transmission of this virus.
That’s why eight provinces now have the app fully up and running, and we’ll continue to work with Alberta and B.C. to get them to come on board too.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to go to the App Store or Google Play and download the app for free.
We have several tools at our disposal to help us fight COVID-19.
With more than 4.5 million downloads to date, the free COVID Alert application is very effective in helping protect you and your loved ones.
The process is very simple and protects your privacy.
If you have had close contact with someone who has subsequently reported a positive test, the app will alert you.
After receiving the alert, you can then go to a testing site or isolate yourself while waiting for your result.
This app helps prevent the virus from spreading.
It is now fully functional in eight provinces, and discussions are ongoing with British Columbia and Alberta.
So if you haven't already done so, go to the App Store or Google Play and download COVID Alert for free right now.
We must keep taking the fight against COVID-19 seriously. This pandemic is still a very real threat.
For several weeks, you’ve been hearing me, the premiers, and public health officials urging everyone to double down on what we know works to flatten the curve and beat this second wave. Frankly, the numbers are still too high. And that has real consequences.
Our frontline workers are at risk.
Our parents and grandparents in long-term care facilities are at risk.
And our loved ones who have pre-existing health conditions are at risk.
For businesses, many of which have just gotten back on the road to recovery, the second wave has pushed them to the brink once again.
This is very serious. But we have the power to turn things around.
So let’s keep doing our part for each other, and for the people that we love.
We need to keep taking this fight against COVID-19 seriously. Unfortunately, this pandemic is still a very real threat.
For several weeks now, the Premiers, public health officials and I have been calling on everyone to double down on their efforts and take the actions that we know will help us flatten the curve and beat the second wave.
Case numbers are still too high, and too many people are still at risk:
Our frontline workers, our parents and grandparents in long-term care facilities, and our loved ones who have pre-existing health conditions.
For the businesses that have just gotten back on the road to recovery, the second wave threatens to slow them down again.
I understand your concern.
But we can still turn the tide.
So let’s keep doing our part to help others and to help those we love. As government, we will continue to be there for you.
This morning, I spoke with Prime Minister Pashinyan of Armenia to express our concern about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
I told him that Canada will continue to work extremely hard with all our allies to put an end to the violence.
I encourage all sides to engage in dialogue to find peaceful resolution to the conflict. This was echoed by Minister Champagne on his trip to Europe, which is wrapping up today.
Minister Champagne’s trip included a week of meetings with our allies to discuss the global fight against COVID-19.
He also had talks about how we can find meaningful ways to support democracy in Belarus.
Today, Minister Champagne met with opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to show our support for her, and for the people of Belarus.
We will continue to work with our international partners to ensure that the people of Belarus make sure their voices are heard.
And finally, I want to take a moment to talk to kids out there across Canada. I know that these past six months or so have been really difficult for all of you. But I know many of you had birthdays, milestones to celebrate during these past months that were really difficult and a lot less fun than usual – no families, no extended families, no parties, no friends. These are things that kids are struggling with in this time of COVID. This weekend is my dad’s birthday, but it’s also my son Xavier’s thirteenth birthday. Turning thirteen is the big moment where you get to become a teenager and all the responsibilities that come with it, but it’s also a time where friends really matter, and not having a party is tough. But, as families, as Canadians, and as kids, we need to keep doing our part and keep safe, to protect our grandparents, to make sure that we’re slowing the spread of COVID-19.
We’ve asked an awful lot of everyone across the country, especially kids. But I want you to know that we’re going to continue asking a lot of you because I know you’re capable of it. We’re there for you. Make sure you’re leaning on each other, but know that we all need to do our part to keep people safe even when it’s our special day.