Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Remarks Updating Canadians on COVID-19
March 13, 2020
Good morning, everyone.
Yesterday, I shared with you that my wife Sophie was being tested for COVID-19, and that test did come back positive.
Sophie’s symptoms remain mild, but we are following medical advice and taking every precaution.
She will remain in isolation for the time being.
We are thinking about all the families across the country who have received the same diagnosis.
But we’re in good hands. We have full confidence in Canada’s health officials and professionals.
This means that, upon my doctor’s recommendation, I will remain in self-isolation for 14 days.
I want to be clear, I have no symptoms and I’m feeling good.
And technology allows me to work from home.
Of course, it’s an inconvenience, and somewhat frustrating – we are all social beings after all.
But we have to do this because we have to protect our neighbours and our friends, especially our more vulnerable seniors and people with pre-existing conditions.
We are following medical advice as should all Canadians.
And on that note, I want to thank all of Canada’s health professionals and the Public Health Agency who are doing an incredible job supporting and looking after all of us.
I would now like to outline the steps that Canada is taking to ensure your safety and protect your health.
Yesterday, I spoke with a number of international leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Johnson from the United Kingdom, and Italy’s Prime Minister Conte.
I also took part in the meeting of the special Cabinet Committee on COVID-19 and I had a telephone meeting with the Minister of Finance on the current economic situation.
I have also had discussions with the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the President of the Canadian Labour Congress.
This morning, I took part in a Cabinet meeting and I spoke with President Macron of France. I will continue these conversations in the coming days.
Earlier today, Ministers Blair, Hajdu, and Garneau announced that Canada has advised Canadians to curtail nonessential international travel, and that the cruise season is suspended until July and that we are bringing in additional screening measures at airports.
We are also streamlining overseas arrivals to be better positioned for screening.
Yesterday, we saw many provinces take strong steps to keep people safe.
They are doing what needs to be done to protect the public and I want to thank them for their exemplary work.
Later today, I will have a call with the Premiers and Indigenous leaders to discuss the latest developments and coordinate our efforts, including the over $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund, which provides money to the provinces and territories to support preparation and mitigation.
These are significant steps, and we will do more.
The provinces and territories are facing various levels of risk, but we will make sure that we align our response across the country.
Addressing COVID-19 must be a Team Canada effort.
To keep Canadians safe, to mitigate the economic impacts of the virus – all levels of government are working together.
We are talking regularly. We are coordinating our efforts. We are following the situation very closely and we’re pulling out all the stops.
I know that you’re worried. You’re worried about your health, about your family’s health.
About your job, your savings, about paying rent, and the kids not being in school.
I know that you’re concerned about uncertainty in the global economy.
The steps being taken to keep you safe have an economic impact. But what is also true is that we are in the enviable position of having significant fiscal firepower available to support you.
This is in addition to the measures we’ve already taken. The Finance Minister is also in constant communication with his international counterparts to find ways to work together to mitigate the impacts of the virus on the global economy.
He will have further announcements shortly this afternoon.
The agreement we reached with other parties to suspend the House today also still gives us the flexibility to do the things we need to do in order to support Canadians.
No one should have to worry about paying rent, buying groceries, or additional childcare because of COVID-19.
We will help Canadians financially.
The Government of Canada will be introducing a significant fiscal stimulus package in the days ahead.
We are doing everything that we need to protect our economy and we find ourselves in a fiscally advantageous position.
Every order of government is working together to stop the spread of the virus.
Businesses and citizens are taking precautions.
We have outstanding public health authorities who are doing an outstanding job.
We will get through this together.
Merci, tout le monde.