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Summary of the Prime Minister's news conference April 2-5

5 April 2020
CEO, Elizabeth Mulholland summarizes government measures being taken in response to COVID-19 to support people living on low-incomes and those that serve them. Read the latest update from the Prime Minister's Office, April 2-5.

April 2, 2020
Ask for help
  • The last few weeks have been difficult for many people wondering how they could work from home, how they were going to be able to pay their bills after losing their job.
  • But if you are going through a particularly dark period, ask for help. There are people who can help you.
  • And if you think a friend or family member of the family needs help, give them a call. Tell them you’re there to listen.
Cooperation with provinces/territories
  • This evening, chairing a meeting with the premiers to discuss working together.
  • Over the last few weeks, all levels of government have been cooperating and that collaboration will become even more important.
  • We will support provinces/territories with whatever they need – including sending personal protective equipment and other healthcare supports.
  • Last night, over 11 million masks were received over the last days and are being rapidly distributed to provinces and territories.
  • Tonight, will discuss continued coordination and sharing of data and modelling. We need to work together to know what’s needed, where and when, for communities right across the country.
  • Provinces making progress on testing backlogs, giving experts important data. Means we can share more information.
Access to information on the epidemic
  • Go to for the latest information.
  • Many people are still wondering when this will get better or how much worse it might become. You want to see the numbers and the predictions.
  • We’ll have more information, keeping coming to you with it soon.
Why we need to follow public health guidance
  • Biggest variable shaping projections is Canadians and their behaviour. Ignoring best available information and advice from doctors puts lives at risk.
  • While many are staying home and limiting trips, too many still aren’t.
  • It takes time for the effects of our actions to be felt so we need to make the right choices now to avoid overwhelming hospitals in coming weeks.
  • Our health care professionals are remarkable but facing a threat. If every single one of us steps us right now, we can help them -- if you stay home, stay away from other people, we won’t overwhelm our hospitals and we will protect our doctors and nurses; friends and neighbours.
  • It’s going to take distancing and time to flatten the curve, but that’s how we’ll get through this.
  • Governments of all orders are organizing the most significant civic mobilization since WWII. Doctors and nurses, truckers and air cargo operators are scaling operations to levels never seen in our history.
  • But none of that will be enough without your help.
  • How we serve our country changes with every generation. Now, it’s our turn. You can serve your country by staying home and following the rules.
  • Every single one of us has to do our part, sacrifice our routines, so life will return to normal.
  • We can, and we will, together.
April 3, 2020
Good news
  • The federal government has been working with industry to produce supplies healthcare workers need – e.g. masks, face shields, gowns, ventilators and test kits.
  • Today, announcing an agreement with Amazon Canada to manage distribution of this equipment to provinces and territories where medical equipment is most necessary.
Help for food banks
  • Food banks are facing new challenges because of this pandemic -- fewer volunteers and donations while demand rises.
  • If you have the time and ability to help, reach out to your local food bank and ask them how you can help them.
  • The government will provide $100 million to meet food needs of vulnerable Canadians, including those in Indigenous and northern communities. This money will help ensure that organizations can buy and deliver food to those who need it the most.
Support for Canadians
  • Government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit -- $2,000 a month. It is also supplementing the GST credit, with every qualifying adult receiving up to $300, with $150 for each child. This will now flow in April instead of May.
  • The government has been working with major banks to deliver benefits, including CERB, through direct deposit. People should visit their bank website for information on how to enrol for direct deposit, if they haven’t already.
Data and projections
  • Many Canadians want to know how much longer this situation will last. Many more people are being tested, and experts have more data to analyze. Consult to get updated information about the spread of the virus.
  • I’d like to be able to tell you exactly when all of this will be over, but it will depend on each of us. The best way to minimize COVID-19’s impact is to follow public health directives.
  • Stay home, limit your movements, and if you must leave home, keep a distance of two metres from other people.
April 4, 2020
Access to accurate COVID-19 information
  • The last few weeks have been hard for everyone. We are all trying to see where we might be in the coming weeks and months and how to respond.
  • The numbers and data compiled by experts are critical to understanding the scope of this pandemic and informing the decisions we make.
  • Canadians can access the most reliable, accurate information available at
Call on Canadians to observe social distancing
  • Regardless of models or predictions, one thing is consistently clear: the measures put in place by governments are saving lives.
  • This will only keep working though if we all continue to do our part and take our duty to protect nurses and doctors, the elderly and the vulnerable seriously – as seriously as if it were the life of our parent, or our child on the line — because it is.
  • So do your part. Wash your hands. Stay two metres away from each other. And above all, stay home.
Funding for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres
  • No one should have to choose between being somewhere they’re unsafe, and risking getting COVID-19.
  • That’s why we’ve invested $40 million for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres and $10 million for emergency shelters for Indigenous women and children fleeing violence.
  • The federal government has also boosted funding for other shelters through the Reaching Home program by over $157 million.
  • This will help buy things like physical barriers or rent new space to keep people safe. The communities that need this funding have now been identified and money is getting to them.
Getting the emergency healthcare supplies we need
  • In the next 2 days, the federal government will receive a shipment of millions of masks on a chartered cargo flight and health care equipment ordered by Quebec.
  • We’re also transporting medical supplies for provincial governments, where possible, and have leased a warehouse in China to collect and distribute these items as quickly as possible.
For children and youth
  • PM will be holding a video conference tomorrow with Dr. Tam for children and youth to talk through some of their questions.
  • To protect your health and the health of all our essential workers, we’re working with businesses to manufacture and distribute medical supplies, and also PPEs as well.
  • We will be helping you, but we need you to do your share as well.
  • This weekend, stay home, please. Save our frontline workers. Save lives.
April 5, 2020
Thank you
  • Thank you to everyone working this weekend—truckers, grocers, pharmacists, healthcare professionals and also farmers who are feeding our families. We greatly appreciate everything that you are doing for us.
Accessing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • Earlier this week, announced more details on how to access the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you lose your job or paycheque.
  • Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to able to sign up to receive this support by going to
  • 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.
How you can help fight COVID-19
  • It can be hard to keep our spirits up these days, but what gives us all hope is the way we’ve come together as a country. We’ve seen: 
    • businesses step up to protect healthcare workers
    • doctors and nurses come out of retirement
    • people raise money for local food banks, check on their friends, and help our most vulnerable.
  • Many of you want to help but the best thing you can do to fight this pandemic is to follow public health recommendations.
    • Wash your hands
    • Stay at home
    • Make necessary trips (e.g. for food or medicine) just once a week
    • If you go out, stay at least two metres away from others.
  • Health Canada is building an inventory of specialized work volunteers that provinces and territories can draw on to support to healthcare worker – e.g. tracking cases, tracing contacts and collecting and reporting data.
  • If you can help, please sign up online at Applications will be open until April 24th.
  • We’re also offering full-time jobs to all reservists in the Canadian Forces at the same pay and benefits as regular force personnel for the coming months. This will help offset economic consequences of COVID-19 and ensure communities are well supported.
Reminder to follow public health guidance
  • If you refuse to follow public health recommendations, you endanger your own life and the lives of the people you love. And you compromise the health of all the members of our society.
  • To all who are grieving, my sincere condolences.
  • To end this crisis, we all must be aware of the consequences of our actions.
  • If you don’t do your share, we will all pay the price. But if you do follow public health advice, everyone will benefit.
  • So, let’s concentrate on each person doing their own share and that’s how we will get through this together.