Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a daily update on the coronavirus crisis each day in front of his home in Ottawa. Here are his remarks for April 14, 2020.
Bonjour à tous.
Today, just like every day, nurses and doctors, lab techs and hospital staff are hard at work to keep us safe. They’re showing up for us and we need to do the same for them. Over the weekend, we received new shipments of essential personal protective equipment, including four planes’ worth of N-95 masks. As we speak workers are unpacking and validating these supplies so we can start shipping them to the provinces and territories as quickly as possible. These new N-95 masks are in addition to the more than 820,000 that went to provinces last week. All told, this means that we have 1.1 million N-95s ready to be shipped to the provinces and territories with more to come. We have also received millions of pairs of gloves and we’ll be getting new protective gowns delivered from domestic suppliers starting next Monday.
We’ve also made progress on testing. Right now, we’re moving forward on a range of rapid testing kits, both from here in Canada and internationally. This includes Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience, who will soon be supplying tens of thousands of kits per month and potentially more as production increases. As Dr. Tam said yesterday, more than 430,000 Canadians have now been tested for COVID-19. Our experts and health professionals are working hard to increase our capacity to keep ramping up tests across the country. Demand for these supplies is going up and we’re going to make sure Canada can keep up.
I can announce that we’re investing almost $130 million to support Northern communities in dealing with COVID-19. If you live in the North, chances are you’re worried about whether your local health centre has the resources to fight COVID-19 and to cope with cases that might come up.
So we’re providing $72.6 million to the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut specifically for health care and community preparedness. We’re also investing more money to Nutrition North Canada. This will make it easier to afford the food and basics that keep you and your family healthy and to ensure that things like groceries and medical equipment can continue to get to you, we’re providing funding for northern air carriers to transport these supplies.
These are tough times, but we’re going to help you through them to set your community up to come back strong when things get better because they will. We have to think about small businesses, too. I know entrepreneurs in the North have been hit especially hard by this crisis. If you own a business and your costs aren’t already covered by other measures we’ve put in place, we’re giving CanNor more funding to help.
No matter where you live— in a small community or a big city—we’re here for you.
This weekend, we brought Parliament back to pass the largest economic policy since the Second World War. With the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy, we will protect jobs by helping businesses keep their employees on the payroll. We’ll be rolling this measure out as quickly as possible. And now, as many people as we’ve already helped— and we’re talking about millions of Canadians—we know there is more to do.
You might not currently qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, but you still might need a hand. If you’re a student or an essential worker, for example, this week we’ll be talking about how to reach you while also supporting sectors that have been especially hard hit. At the same time, we’re working to enhance the Canada Emergency Business Account as well as new supports on commercial rent for businesses that are hardest hit. I’ll have more to say about all this soon.
If you’ve come back to Canada from abroad, as of today, we are strengthening measures. Now, if asymptomatic travelers cannot explain a credible quarantine plan, they will be required to quarantine in a hotel. This will come into effect at midnight tonight.
We are also announcing $20 million for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to strengthen food inspections and keep our food supply safe. This will mean we can build capacity for more overtime and extra shifts for inspectors to fill demand. It also means we can invest in things like hiring and training to get more people on board.
[translated from French] We are going through difficult times, but right across the country, I know that many people are concerned not only about their their future or their health, but those of their parents and grandparents. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, which means that we mustn’t visit them in seniors’ homes or long-term care facilities. To help to protect them, we have introduced new guidelines for this type of facility. We have set clear rules with respect to restrictions on visits and controlled personnel and what to do in cases of infection. At the same time, we continue to work with the provinces and territories to ensure that they have everything they need to keep people healthy. [end of translation]
I want to take a moment to speak directly to everyone who has lost a loved one. If you’re grieving, know that you’re not alone. We are here for you, even through this incredibly tough time. And you remind us why it’s so important to do everything we can to keep one another safe. We all need to do our part. We can’t let up now. So to everyone, stay at home. And no matter what, stay two metres apart if you do have to go out. When it gets hard, let’s remember that we’re all in this together.