Trudeau asks Canadians to protect front line workers as if they're family

Apr 4 2020, 9:51 am

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Canadians Saturday morning to stay home to protect front line workers as if they were their own family members.

At his daily appearance outside Rideau Cottage, Trudeau reminded Canadians they need to do their part to prevent the spread of infection so essential workers can continue doing their jobs.

“The cashier at the store is someone’s brother. The paramedic saving lives is someone’s wife,” Trudeau said. “That’s what’s at stake here. The lives of the people we love.”

Measures put in place by cities, provinces, and the federal government to close schools and have people stay home will only keep working if everyone participates, Trudeau said. He wants everyone to take this duty as seriously as if it where their own child or parent on the line.

Federal data forthcoming

Trudeau acknowledged Canadians are looking for answers about how deadly the coronavirus could be here, and how long physical distancing measures must be in place. He’s working with the provinces to bring forth modelling data at a national level, he said.

Ontario has already released its provincial predictions, suggesting the coronavirus could kill 3,000 to 15,000 people even with current measures in place.

Masks for health care workers

In a concerning move for Canadian health care workers, US President Donald Trump asked mask manufacturer 3M to halt shipments to Canada and Latin America, saving them for the US. Trudeau addressed those concerns, saying he “knows there’s competition out there” for procuring masks, and said Canada is looking at using domestic production lines.

N95 masks are an important item of personal protective equipment that health care workers wear to cut the chances they’ll catch the coronavirus from their patients.

Trudeau said discussions with US officials are ongoing, and said the US would be “hurting itself” by interrupting this shipment given how interlinked the two countries’ economies are. He declined to say whether Canada would implement retaliatory measures.

An astronaut will answer kids’ questions

Pivoting to address children who are stuck at home and unable to see friends or attend school, Trudeau said they can look forward to a special question-and-answer period with Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen — someone who’s an “expert” at staying indoors while in space.

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