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 5, 2020.
[speaking in French] For those working this weekend—the truckers, the grocers, the pharmacists, the heath-care professionals, as always. thank you. Today I also want to thank the farmers who are feeding our families. You are going through a particularly difficult time, but it’s thanks to you that we have confidence about staying at home. We know we can rely on you to feed our families and our communities and we greatly appreciate everything that you are doing for us, and we’ll be there for you.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve all had to make changes to keep each other safe and healthy, and it’s a big adjustment. While we still have a lot of work to do, we’re making good progress on getting you the support you need, as quickly as possible. And that’s what I want to start with today. Earlier this week, we announced more details on how you can access the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you’ve lost your job or your paycheque. Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to able to sign up to receive this support by going to canada.ca. If you choose to direct deposit, you’ll get a first payment of within 3-5 days. If you choose to receive your benefit by mail, you’ll get money within the next 10 days.
I know it can be hard to keep your spirits up these days, but one thing that should give us all hope is the way we’ve come together as a country. Crises such as this one test the limits of our solidarity, and in these difficult times we’ve seen businesses step up to help protect our health-care workers, we’ve seen doctors and nurses come out of retirement, we’ve seen people raise money for local food banks, check on their friends, and help our most vulnerable. Many of you may be wondering how you can help, and I want to remind you that the very best thing you can do to fight this pandemic is to follow public health recommendations. Wash your hands and stay at home, except for critical things like getting groceries or medications, and try to make that trip only once a week. And if you do have to go out, keep a safe distance of at least two metres with others. That’s how you can keep doing your part. But for those of you with specialized skills looking to help our front-line workers, we do want to hear from you. Health Canada is building an inventory of specialized work volunteers that provinces and territories can draw on to provide more support to our health-care workers. This could include tracking cases and tracing contact, as well as collecting and reporting data. If you can help, please sign up online at canada.ca/coronavirus. Applications will be open until April 24th. We’re also offering full-time jobs to all reservists in the Canadian Forces. We’re contacting reservists across the country to see if they’re interested, and offering them the same pay and benefits as regular force personnel for the coming months. Bolstering the military’s ranks will help offset some of the economic consequences of COVID-19 and ensure that our communities are well supported.
[speaking in French] In this crisis, every act counts. If you refuse to follow the recommendations of experts, you not only endanger your own lives and that of your loved ones, but you compromise the health of all the members of our society, and I’m not saying that for dramatic effect — 233 Canadians have lost their lives to COVID-19 and hundreds of families are therefore grieving. To all the loved ones that are grieving, my most sincere condolences. We’re going through some very painful times but we are there for you. Now, to end this crisis we all must be aware of the consequences of our actions. If you don’t do your share, your fellow citizens will pay the price. But it also works the other way. If you do follow the advice of experts, all of the community will benefit from it. So let’s concentrate on that, let’s continue, each person to do their own share and that’s how we will get through this trial together.
I want to close today with a message for kids. Thank you all for sending in your questions over the past few days. Dr. Tam and I had a great time answering those questions this morning. Later today, astronauts Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques will be on YouTube, so be sure to tune in. David just returned to earth after spending many months in space, and he knows a thing or two about staying indoors, and only talking to friends and family via videoconference. I know these are tough times for kids right across the country and indeed around the world, but know that the support you’re giving your parents and all of us as we work through this, the way you’re helping out, the way you’re focusing on doing your homework and keeping your school work up and the way you’re learning to adapt to this new situation that we will all remember for the rest of our lives. Thank you, for everything you are doing to keep us getting through this.