Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began his daily remarks by focusing on troubling conditions in various long-term care homes and congregate care settings that were recently brought to light by the Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed in Ontario and Quebec. He also discussed steps his government has taken to date to safely reopen the Canadian economy and urged all employers to rehire workers as the country slowly eases pandemic restrictions.
Long-term Care Home Crisis in Ontario and Quebec
Commenting on the scathing reports released by the Canadian Armed Forces on the state of long-term care homes in Quebec and Ontario, the PM said he will be urgently discussing the public health crisis unfolding in congregate care settings with provincial premiers tomorrow. He reassured Canadians that the federal government will provide all necessary support to manage the situation on the ground. “We need to do a better job of taking care of our seniors. They raised us. They built this country. And we need to do better,” Trudeau said.
Long-term care homes in Quebec and Ontario have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 and account for over 80% of all virus casualties across the country. Both provincial reports point to three major challenges in the facilities, including staffing shortages, management of personal protective equipment and how hot zones related to the novel coronavirus were handled.
You can read the full Ontario report here.
You can read the Full Quebec report [French only] here.
Reopening of Economy
The PM also noted that as more and more Canadians return to work, fewer people will need the help of the CERB introduced earlier. However, he reaffirmed the wage subsidies will continue. Maintaining the connection between employer and employee is critical in ensuring that people get back on their feet and keep our economy strong, the PM emphasized. “That is why it’s so important that employers take advantage of this program and rehire their workers,” he said. “If you are an employer, do rehire your employees. Our government will help you.”
The PM also confirmed that the federal government is continuing its discussions with the provinces and territories as well as major labour groups and stakeholders to see which support programs should be extended, phased out or modified as the country prepares to reopen the economy.