In his daily April 7 briefing to Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic, PM explained how Canadian companies are reorganizing to make medical supplies and mentioned a partnership with a Nobel laureate
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a daily update on the coronavirus crisis outside his home in Ottawa. Here are his remarks from April 7, 2020.
Before I get into it, I’d like to cover the latest news from the UK. My thoughts are with Prime Minister Johnson and his family during this time. I have been working with Boris for quite some time now, and I know how determined he is to serve the people of the UK. He is a fighter, and he will now fight to regain his health and return to the job he love. Sophie and I, and all Canadians, wish him a speedy recovery. Canadians are with you to our British friends. We will get through this together.
(Speak French) Whenever we learn that someone has been hospitalized because of COVID-19, we are worried. But we must remember that we are not helpless in the face of this situation. Anyone can help and you know what to do. Stay at home as much as possible, even when the weather is nice outside. I know it’s even more difficult these days with the arrival of spring, but we must continue to follow this advice now if we want to be able to enjoy summer in a few months. Only go out if you have to buy groceries. Even then, try to go as little as possible. And that applies to everyone, wherever you live or what you do for a living.
That said, some people are able to do even more because they have the special skills or resources that we need right now. For example, we provide full-time jobs for reservists in the Canadian Armed Forces. That way, if the communities need more support, we will be ready. Health Canada is also recruiting volunteers to help our front line workers and a few weeks ago we asked for help from companies to produce the items that are in high demand now. Since then, close to 5,000 Canadian companies have contacted us to offer their services. On behalf of all Canadians, thank you. It’s really inspiring to see so many people wanting to help. ((French end)
In the past few weeks, almost 5,000 Canadian companies have joined forces to fight COVID-19. On behalf of all Canadians, thank you for speaking. As countries around the world grapple with this pandemic, the demand for essential supplies such as test kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment is increasing. To keep our frontline workers safe and to care for Canadians with COVID-19, we need a sustainable and stable supply of these products, which means making them at home. With our industry mobilization plan, we are helping businesses reorganize, reorient and innovate to fight COVID-19. We have already signed letters of intent with a number of partners to produce what we need and today we have more news to share.
We work with Thornhill Medical, CAE, Fans for Canadians, and a group led by StarFish Medical to produce up to 30,000 Canadian-made ventilators. These purchases will help us increase our ability to ensure that these life-saving appliances are made right here at home.
We are also working with Nobel laureate researcher Dr. Art McDonald, who leads a team of scientists to develop easy-to-make fans. And to produce medical gowns and establish new supply chains right here in Canada, we partner with more than 20 companies, including Arc’teryx, Canada Goose and Stanfield’s.
One thing that is particularly inspiring to see is the number of companies that not only produce these products, but innovate. For example, Autoliv seeks to make medical gowns from materials normally used to produce airbags.
(Speak French) At the same time, our government continues to buy masks to protect our healthcare workers who do extraordinary work. We have ordered millions of surgical masks from several Canadian companies and are supporting Medicom, which will increase its capacity to produce N95 masks. We also buy hand sanitizer and Health Canada has authorized the sale of over 85 of these products in Canada. Some items will take longer to make than others, but every week, we are moving forward to increase our capacity to produce them. And I want to thank Minister Bains who is doing a great job these days.
I also know that a number of people are concerned about a shortage of equipment, given what is happening in other countries. I understand your concerns, especially if you or someone close to you works in the health field. But I can tell you that we are doing everything we can to prevent this from happening. ((French end)
We work 24 hours a day to make sure our front line workers have everything they need to save lives and stay safe. As we work to secure essential equipment from Canadian sources, we are also in contact with other suppliers around the world who are interested in selling to Canada. We are expecting 500,000 masks from 3M tomorrow and are working as quickly as possible to get them to our front line workers.
From the start, our priority was the health and safety of all Canadians. So whether you make medical gowns, provide respirators or treat a patient with COVID-19, we have your back. We will be there for you. We also have a three-point economic plan. He supports business owners while preserving jobs with the wage subsidy and helping those who no longer have pay checks at CERB.
Last night our government proactively shared our wage subsidy bill with opposition parties. I know House leaders will speak throughout the day to reach an agreement that will allow the House of Commons to quickly pass this law, which will provide much needed financial support for working Canadians, while helping employers. keep their staff on the payroll.
A lot of work has been done since we announced our wage subsidy plan. We continue to rely on your feedback and comments as we refine them, and we will have more details to share very soon. Yesterday was also the first day that people could apply for CERB. In this regard, I would like to acknowledge the enormous work done by the public service, which has processed hundreds of thousands of requests. They are working around the clock to make sure Canadians get the help they need as quickly as possible.
Finally, as some of you may know, today marks World Health Day and National Caregiver Day. This year, I am particularly grateful to our health professionals and caregivers who work day and night to keep us safe and take care of the most vulnerable. As Canada faces this pandemic, many have said that our health care system is a major asset. Ours is a country where health is a right rather than a privilege, and it is something we can all be proud of.
But our healthcare system is as strong as the people it employs. Whether you are a doctor or a nurse, someone who keeps our hospital clean or a home care worker, please take such good care of us. Thank you for all that you have done over the years to help so many of us start families, overcome illness and live longer, healthier lives. We do not need a pandemic or a special day to recognize your vital contributions to this country, but I hope all Canadians will join me in expressing our deep gratitude. I hope the Canadians will honk a little louder at the end of your shift today and add another rainbow to their window.
(Speak French) From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all caregivers and health professionals. Thank you.