Remarks on additional investments for businesses and science research
Happy Friday, everyone.
In Canada, just like in many other countries, COVID-19 cases are still rising.
Yesterday, both British Columbia and Saskatchewan announced a record high of daily new cases.
On Wednesday, Ontario reported their largest number of new COVID-19-related deaths in a single day since the beginning of the second wave.
I can’t stress this enough, the situation is serious.
These are not just numbers, these are people’s grandparents, parents, and loved ones,
We all have our own reasons. Our own loved ones that we want to look out for and protect.
I just got news last night that my godfather and uncle, Tom Walker, had to be readmitted to the hospital last night. He’s been in and out of hospital over a while and I am sending him my love. And we’re all thinking about our loved ones who we haven’t been able to see for many months, who we are worried about.
We all have our reasons to keep each other safe. To follow Public Health advice. We need to do that.
It’s particularly nice outside in many parts of the country this week. Which means we are still enjoying lots of fresh air. But winter is coming.
That means we are going to have to get in into more enclosed spaces. We are not going to be able to open windows wide in rooms. Ventilation is going to become much more important.
We need to remember to be careful.
There is increasing evidence that aerosol spread is a vector of transmission.
We need to wear masks.
We need to avoid crowded, closed spaces as Dr. Tam has said many times.
We need to make sure we are making it into winter on a good footing so we can hold on through winter.
The vaccines hopefully will be here in the spring but there is a lot of work to do between now and then to make sure we are keeping Canadians safe and healthy.
That’s the work we need to continue to be determine to do. We need to continue to be there for each other.
So continue to follow local public health guidelines.
Wear a mask. Keep your distance.
And download the COVID-19 app.
COVID-19 cases are still rising in Canada and around the world.
I want to be very clear: the situation is serious.
Now is not the time to let our guard down.
This week, there were record numbers of new cases in several parts of the country.
Just yesterday, Quebec recorded 1,138 additional cases. Think of your grandparents, your loved ones, the frontline workers and those who are most vulnerable.
Together, we can protect them by following local public health guidelines.
Continue to wear a mask, keep your distance, and download the free COVID Alert app.
It’s particularly nice outside right now in many parts of the country.
We can still enjoy being outside. But winter is only a few weeks away.
We will have to be inside more often, in spaces that are not well ventilated.
Places where we won’t be able to open the windows.
We will need to be very careful.
Do all we can now to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. So we make it into winter on a more solid footing than we are on right now.
So we can get through winter knowing that the spring will be better, the summer will be better. We will hopefully have vaccines.
We need to keep going, to be there for each other.
We all have our reasons to follow public health advice. We all have to continuing doing our part.
Our government is also continuing to do what we can.
For example, last week alone, we sent 3.5 million nitrile gloves to the provinces and territories to support them in their fight against COVID-19.
We are also continuing to distribute rapid diagnostic tests.
In the last three weeks, more than 2.8 million rapid tests were distributed and more will be distributed soon.
While our government is doing everything we can to keep Canadians safe, we’re also working hard to keep Canadian jobs.
This morning, we received the news that 84,000 jobs were added to the economy in October, mostly full-time positions.
This means over 2.3 million Canadians have returned to work after they lost their jobs during the pandemic.
We’re making progress, but there’s still much more work to be done.
The technology and innovation sector is, and will continue to be, a key tool in creating good jobs and rebuilding a stronger, more competitive economy.
In April, we created the Innovation Assistance Program with the National Research Council of Canada to support innovative businesses, including pre-revenue firms that were not eligible for the wage subsidy.
This investment helped small- and medium-sized Canadian businesses keep 24,000 employees on the payroll.
To continue supporting these companies – and the people they employ – I can announce that we are extending the Innovation Assistance Program with a new investment of $155 million.
High-potential, innovative firms are key drivers of economic growth, and we will be there to help them bridge to the other side of this crisis.
Today, I’m announcing a $155 million investment to extend the National Research Council of Canada’s Innovation Assistance Program.
This goal of this program is to support small- and medium-sized businesses in the innovation sector, including pre-revenue companies that are not eligible for the wage subsidy.
Since its creation in April, the Innovation Assistance Program has helped keep 24,000 employees on the payroll.
The innovation sector has a key role to play in our recovery and building a stronger and more competitive economy.
Our government is there to help these businesses and their employees get through this crisis.
Minister Bains will give more information in a few moments, but first, I would like to talk about our efforts to encourage scientific research throughout Canada.
Science is our best tool in fighting this virus.
That is why our researchers must have access to important resources they need to do their work.
Through the COVID-19 Exceptional Opportunities Fund and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, we will make an additional investment of nearly $28 million to support 79 research projects related to the pandemic.
For example, these funds will help a team at Cégep André-Laurendeau study public spaces using 3D technology to help improve social distancing measures.
At the University of Calgary, other researchers will have access to a new leading-edge microscope to study COVID-19’s effects on blood vessels.
The selected teams work in universities, CEGEPS, research hospitals, colleges and technical schools around the country.
These investments will help them obtain the equipment they need to carry out their research and advance science.
As we head into the weekend, I want to end today by coming back to something I mentioned last Friday.
Things are tough and we all need to take care not just of loved ones, friends, and neighbours, but of ourselves, too.
In many parts of the country, right now you might be asked to stay home and limit the number of people you see as much as possible.
I know we all miss getting together with friends, colleagues, and extended family.
It’s not easy.
So if you’re feeling anxious or if you’re struggling with mental health or other challenges, pick up the phone and reach out to someone you can trust.
You can also always call 2-1-1, a 24-hour helpline that will connect you to the right resources.
It’s free and confidential, and they can help you in more than 150 different languages.
Thank you. Take care of yourself.
Have a good weekend and a good Remembrance Week.