Happy Saturday everyone. Saturday is usually a time when we get to get together with friends, spend some time with the kids, with family. Obviously, this is another different Saturday, as we’ve had over the past few weeks. We need you to continue to stay home, we need you to continue to do everything we can to flatten the curve. Obviously, there are sacrifices we’re all making, but it’s beginning to work. We see promising news out of B.C. that over the past couple of weeks, the measures taken in place by so many Canadians, the choices that Canadians have made have had an impact on the overall numbers, but we need to keep it up. We need to continue to do what is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which means continuing the social distancing, continuing to not go out unless you absolutely have to, continuing to think about caring for each other, thinking about protecting each other and thinking about protecting our health care workers and those essential workers who are doing such extraordinary service to keep things going, to keep us safe at the same time.
[speaking in French] This is our common responsibility to stay home and do our utmost in order to prevent the spread or the lengthening of this crisis. And this is a wonderful Saturday I know, but it is important for us to stay home. It behooves us to do so and not to do anything that might endanger the lives of our friends or health professionals. Now as you know, we have encouraged people to stay home in particular if they are developing or have developed symptoms of COVID-19.
…You need to stay home, you need to isolate, you need to not travel. People have been following that but I can enhance that we have formalized some of the domestic travel rules. As of Monday at noon, people showing any signs whatsoever of COVID-19 will be denied boarding on all domestic flights and inter-city passenger trains.
[speaking in French] …We must continue to practice social distancing, physical distancing, and we should make responsible decisions. And I would like to thank the millions of Canadians who do exactly that. This is so important for the purpose of making sure that we continue doing the right thing to keep secure and continue to go through the crisis and have a prosperous country, a healthy country, but each and every one of us has to do his or her part in this over the next few days.
Last night, I was lucky to do something which I love to do. I was able to spend some time with members of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council — of course that was an online meeting. But even a virtual meeting gives me so much energy. I was in the company of Minister Bardish Chagger and two more ministers, and we had a very open conversation with young people across the country.
The conversations … were extraordinary. Obviously, lots of questions and comments around COVID-19, and vulnerable populations from the North, to internet access and broadband access for rural communities, questions about what young people can do, questions around what they can tell their friends who are doing well or not doing well. Conversations about mental health as well because obviously this is a moment of anxiety and stress for so many people. This was a great conversation, like so many of the great conversations being had amongst Canadians across the country. Our young people specifically — we’ve been counting on them over the past years to continue to step up in the fight against climate change, in the fight against poverty, in supporting a better world, internationally and at home. And we continue to need young people to be that vehicle for building a better future and sharing messages.
Obviously, young people, like every generation, are chaffing at the bit in terms of having to be self-isolated, particularly at a time when we tell our young people, at an age where we say now is the time to go out and discover the world, whether it’s with a backpack or in a laboratory. Make new discoveries, challenge yourselves, challenge the world. And they’re looking at their plans for the spring, and their summer jobs and they’re realizing there is a massive anxiety and a massive uncertainty out there. But that doesn’t mean we’re powerless. It doesn’t mean they’re powerless. On the contrary, this generation of young people is so committed and engaged to creating a better world that we need you to keep leading the way you are, we need you to share your messages with friends, we need you to lead by example, we need you to be challenging and discovering the world in virtual ways. There are ways that you can continue to shape the future we all live in, every single day, not just with your choices, but with your leadership. And that’s what we need.
[speaking in French] …We also want to be here for you as young people, we want to support you. And many of you will be eligible for the emergency Canadian benefit, others will be helped in their part-time work thanks to the assistance we give to small businesses and medium enterprises, so we will make sure that you continue to trust the future.
Young people, maybe of them will qualify for the CERB and be helped through the wage subsidy we’re creating for businesses, bringing up to 75 percent. But there’s always going to be more to do, and we’re going to keep listening and looking how we can make sure that Canadians get through this in the best possible way by supporting them now and ensuring that we can roar back stronger once this is all done. That’s why we’ve put forward big measures to help businesses over the past few days, increasing the wage subsidy to 75 percent means businesses across the country are now realizing they are going to be able to keep people on their payroll, keep that relationship going between them and their workers and even re-hire people who they didn’t think they’d be able to support over the past two weeks.
We know that what we do now to hold things together, to give people the ability to stay home, to isolate, to hold through this difficult time is key to how we will come back stronger afterwards, but we need to stick together and we need to do it.
[speaking in French] …We are making easier access to credit in order for people to have more cash, more liquidity, and then they’d be able also to borrow. We have made available $40,000 through the banks, interest-free for the first year, and $10,000 might be pardoned if conditions are met. We’ll be working together for the purpose of making sure that we have the ability to go through this crisis. A $1.07 billion plan has been adopted by parliament and people are impatient to see the cash arriving at their homes. We are doing our utmost to be able to deliver to Canadians quickly this cash because this is an unprecedented situation…
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will give people $2,000 every month for the next four months to help get us through this time. I know an awful lot of people have shown interest in it already. My recommendation to you is to go on the Canada Revenue Agency site and sign up in advance through the ‘my account’ links. Once you do that, in the coming days where we’re able to start actually opening applications, you’ll have a head start. And if you can, please opt for the direct deposit option which will let you get this money into your bank accounts sooner, and is simpler for everyone as well.
There are lots of things that we’re doing to make sure that we get through this together, but everything we do, we need to together. Every single individual, every single household has its role to play in making sure that Canada and Canadians do well through this. We also have a role to play in making sure that the world gets through this, both by modelling solutions and demonstrating what can be done when we all work together. This is going to be key, particularly as parts of the world that are much more vulnerable are beginning to get harder hit. We need to be able to get through this so we can help rebuild a world in which people can prosper, and everyone has a real and fair chance to succeed.
I know Canadians are up to this challenge, I know we’re going to do this together.
[speaking in French]… Thank you very much and have a nice Saturday.