Not all Canadians overseas will be able to return home, says Trudeau

Tuesday, 24 Mar, 2020

The weekend saw shocking pictures across the country of thousands of people flocking to beaches and parks to enjoy the spring sunshine, apparently without a thought for the pleas from health officials to keep a safe distance.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said on Saturday that "Canadians need to understand this isn't about two weeks of social distancing".

"We won't be able to reach everyone but we're going to do our best to help those we can", he said. "Well you're not", said Trudeau.

The prime minister announced a partnership with Vancouver-based company AbCellera, which will focus on drugs to prevent and treat COVID-19.

The Prime Minister ended his address by thanking the millions of Canadians who are staying at home and practicing social distancing especially children whose lives have also been drastically altered by the outbreak.

During a press briefing, Trudeau announced that the federal parliament would be recalled Tuesday around midday to vote on the emergency measures.

Trudeau said no provinces have asked yet for the Emergencies Act to go into force.

In the other, she reminds Canadians to protect themselves and others, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions and older people, by practising good hygiene: frequent hand washing, not touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your arm and staying home as much as possible.

An Air Canada flight bringing a group of Canadians home from Morocco is expected to land in Montreal today.

There are 1,378 COVID-19 cases across Canada, with 18 recoveries and 20 deaths.

Trudeau said this is heartbreaking for so many people, but also said it was "absolutely the right call and everyone should follow their lead".

The Canadian government is also freeing up $5 billion to help farmers and the agri-food industry, while MPs prepare to return to the House of Commons to approve financial aid for struggling workers and businesses.

Trudeau said these are "critical steps", however, vaccines will take time to be available. "If we need to take certain measures, we will".