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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Speaks With Premiers on Continued Efforts to Address the Impacts of COVID-19

On May 21st, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland held their tenth First Ministers’ call with the premiers about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per the Government of Canada’s website:

First Ministers reiterated the importance of working collaboratively to keep Canadians safe while gradually restarting their economies. They discussed an approach based on increased testing capacity, timely and complete contact tracing, and data and information sharing. This approach will help ensure that all regions of the country are testing at a sufficient level, and reinforce testing with effective contact tracing and data sharing in order to contain future outbreaks. The Prime Minister thanked premiers for their continued cooperation in these areas. First Ministers also looked at ways to ensure all jurisdictions have the necessary resources, including personal protective equipment, testing material, human resources, and technology, to contain the spread of the virus as public health restrictions are eased.

The Prime Minister provided an update on the extension of the border restrictions with the United States until June 21. First Ministers welcomed this decision, which will help keep people on both sides of the border safe. First Ministers underscored the ongoing need for strong public health measures at the border, given that essential and business travel continues in order to preserve vital supply chains between our two countries.

All First Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to addressing COVID-19 through a Team Canada effort. The Government of Canada continues to take a whole-of-government, comprehensive, and coordinated approach to responding to COVID-19.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Details Additional Help Available for Business Owners Affected by COVID-19


Video transcript:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

Hello, everyone.

Over the last two months, Canadians have stepped up to keep each other safe.

And because of those actions and those choices, in many parts of the country, we’re getting this virus under control.

Now, that doesn’t mean we can let down our guard.

But what our progress does mean is that where it’s safe to do so, we can gradually and carefully restart some of our activities.

For many small business owners and their workers, being able to reopen is welcome news.

Of course, this is not without its challenges. People need help getting back on their feet.

That’s why we brought in new, targeted support to get businesses going again.

Use the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to rehire your workers.

Access a loan through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to adapt to new realities.

And contact your Regional Development Agency, where we’ve boosted funding, if you don’t qualify for other supports.

Thousands of business owners have already navigated the process and are getting the help they need.

And if you’re not one of them yet, we’re making it simpler to find out what’s available.

Go to the COVID-19 page at canada.ca.

You’ll find a section that lays out all the programs based on what your need is, from rehiring staff to accessing credit.

Your business matters—to your employees and to our country.

In fact, it matters to our whole economy.

So, a concern for you, is a concern for us too.

And that brings me to the question of your rent.

Paying rent on your space might be a problem right now.

We hear that, so we’re taking action.

We’ve created the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses program.

This benefit will provide forgivable loans to landlords, so that they can reduce by 75 per cent the rent of small business tenants that have lost the majority of their revenues because of COVID-19.

If you’re a landlord, and you and your tenant are eligible, please apply.

Go to cmhc.ca to get the details on what information you’ll need when the application portal opens starting May 25.

Once this launches, you’ll receive your relief quickly.

Our government, along with the provinces and territories, will cover 50 per cent of the rent.

We’re asking that landlords absorb 25 per cent, and tenants pay the rest with the support of programs like the CEBA.

For larger retailers, we’re also working on a new support, and we’ll have more details to share soon.

These are challenging times.

But together, we can protect jobs and make sure that our economy bounces back.

And that will be good for everyone.

Whether you work at the restaurant around the corner or at an office downtown, your job is how you support yourself and your family.

And no matter what you do, no matter how many other people your workplace employs, we need to protect that.

In addition to our support for small businesses, we’ve also brought in help for companies of every size.

Last week, we launched the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility to provide bridge loans for the country’s largest employers.

As of today, applications for this financing are open.

These loans will be delivered through the Canada Development Investment Corporation, in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and the Department of Finance.

Our priority is that this program be fair and effective.

Loans will be designed with a clear goal: protecting jobs and helping our economy rebound.

Businesses can go online to cdev.gc.ca for more information on the application process.

But I want to be clear.

We are not offering companies a bailout.

We are making loans available so that they can weather this storm and continue to employ millions of hardworking Canadians.

No matter who you are or where you live, we’re here to support you.

So, I want to end this morning by reminding parents that when you receive your Canada Child Benefit payment today, it will include an extra $300 per child.

This is money to help you through this very tough time.

So I want to say this to parents.

It’s really hard to raise kids these days.

But you are doing an excellent job, despite all the challenges, all the problems we are facing together as a society. Parents are doing an extraordinary job every day.

Keep it up.

We’ll be here for you.

And we will get through this, together.

Thank you.


While the coronavirus continues to spread quickly, it is important to remember that only a small percentage of patients need special treatment to recover. Trusted health experts continue to emphasize that the general population shouldn’t panic and should instead focus on practicing proper hygiene, such as hand-washing and refraining from touching the facial area.

Stay up to date on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by visiting the World Health Organization and the Government of Canada website.

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