Prime Minister Trudeau public address March 25th 2020 on Covid-19: Full transcript (English only)

“Right now, a lot of people are sitting around the kitchen table with bills trying to figure out what needs to be paid and how to plan for the coming months. If you’ve been laid off, had your hours reduced or are worried about your industry, these might be really stressful decisions. Far too many Canadians are having these tough conversations about finances and their future. Just look at the numbers – last week, almost a million people applied for employment insurance. The hard  truth is that people are out of work because of this crisis and are worried about what comes next so I want you to know that we’ll be there to help you. our government is doing everything we can to be there for you. 

Early this morning the house of commons passed an emergency bill to help people as quickly as possible. The bill is now before the senate. I do hope that its passage can be done quickly so that we can help Canadians as soon as possible. we will have more details about this later this week and further measures to announce. And this is only the beginning.  But this new legislation will allow us to take the necessary measures to support you immediately. We will be enhancing the Canada Child Benefit and delaying by three months the time to repay student loans, and with this legislation we are introducing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This benefit will replace the two benefits we announced last week – the emergency care benefit and the emergency support benefit – in order to simplify the process. As I’ve been saying from the outset, as the situation evolves we are adjusting our efforts to help you better.  The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide $2000 a month for the next four months to workers who are not getting a paycheque because of covid-19.So if you’ve lost your job, or you were working on a contract basis or were self-employed, this benefit will be there for you.

If you’re sick, or in quarantine, or if you’re looking after  someone who is infected this benefit will be there for you

If you have to remain at home without receiving a salary to look after your children or seniors, this benefit will be there for you and even if you still have a job but you’re not receiving any salary because of the crisis, the new Canada emergency response benefit will be there for you. There will be an online portal to put through applications.It will be available very soon and people will start to receive money within 10 days of applying. 

The CERB  will provide $2,000 a month for the next four months for workers who lose their income as a result of covid-19. This will replace the two benefits we announced last week: the emergency care benefit and the emergency support benefit in order to streamline the process . Like I said from the start we will adapt our approach wherever needed. 

 if you’ve lost your job because of covid-19 whether you’re full-time contract or self-employed this new benefit will be there for you.

 if you’re sick or quarantined, looking after someone sick, or  at home,taking care of your kids it’s there for you. And even if you’re still employed but not receiving income because of this crisis, the CERB is there for you. 

An application portal will launch as quickly as possible and people should start receiving money within 10 days of applying. I know people are concerned about delays. families are worried about when  they’’ll get help. It can be hard to get through on the line and that is frustrating. public servants are working around the clock while dealing with unprecedented demand and all of the same personal stress everyone else is facing.

They will get to your application.  help is on the way. In order to speed things up we’re rapidly deploying workers from different departments to deal with claims.  In the last 10 days we’ve boosted the team by close to 13,000 people to take your calls, process your claims and get you the support you need. and since last Monday we’ve already processed 143000 employment insurance claims that means more money will go directly to people right across the country. We’re working to get you the support you need when you need it.  and if you’re doing okay that’s a way you can help someone else as an employer, a landlord or even just a friend so you can be part of the solution. It can make all the difference. because it’s by working together that we’ll get through this. and our team knows that. We’re collaborating with the provinces and territories as well as with First Nations, Inuit and Metis Nations communities to coordinate our efforts and ensure that everyone is supported.

 Earlier this week with the premiers we also discussed testing for covid-19. we know that how long you wait for your results varies widely. the premiers and I know we need to address that and we are. This is something Minister Haidu and I discuss with officials every day and we’ll continue doing what’s needed to speed up results for everyone.

 but I also want to recognize the incredible work medical professionals are doing on this front. According to Dr. Tam, we’re now testing about 10,000 people a day. That’s a huge increase in numbers in a very shortperios of time and it’s because people across the country are working tirelessly to make it happen.At the same time we’re helping companies Labs and scientific institutions produce and Supply what we need most from masks and ventilators to vaccines and antiviral drugs. We’re collaborating with Airlines to get Canadians home from abroad and instructing everyone that they must isolate at home for 14 days we’re also working with our International Partners on this crisis. this morning I had calls with President Sall of Senegal, and President Kagame of Rwanda to share strategies on keeping people safe and addressing the economic impacts of this pandemic. I’ve also spoken to Prime Minister Abiy of Ethiopia and president Kenyatta of Kenya about International coordination. and tomorrow I’ll be speaking with other G20 leaders to discuss further Global coordination to our response.

More than ever, it is absolutely essential that Canadians have access to the most recent information. But like everyone, the media is also feeling  the consequences of this virus. To ensure that journalists can continue to do their work, it is even more critical in the midst of a crisis and therefore our government is announcing measures to support them. Minister Guilbeault will provide additional details later but in the meantime, I want to thank all journalists and our Canadian media, who are keeping Canadians aware of the latest developments with facts and reliable information.  we very much appreciate your work.

 right now, it’s more important than ever that Canadians have access to the latest news and information to ensure that journalists can continue to do this vital work, our government is announcing new measures to support them.

 Minister Guilbeault will have more to say about this shortly, but I want to take a moment to thank our journalists and media for everything they do today and everyday 

Above all, the most important way we can work together is by staying apart social distancing is our best tool to stop people from getting sick I know people are seeing different graphs about how effective social distancing can be and new maps tracking the spread of this virus. Every time you turn on the TV or go online, you  probably read something new. I know I do. And you’ll want to know what’s coming next. Today, I’ll be getting the latest modelling from the public health agency of Canada, and we’ll discuss how to share this information even more directly with all of you. But you deserve the best information about what’s happening today and what tomorrow might bring, because otherwise, the uncertainty can be really tough, not just for your routine, but for your mental health too. We’re facing a once-in-a-generation challenge, but on top of that,  you can’t do many of the things that keep you feeling good. Getting together with friends, or having dinner with your neighbour. If you need help, reach out to your neighbour, to a friend, to a sibling, to a hotline, but do it from home. Don’t go out unless you absolutely have to. If you’re already following these rules, thank you for doing your part. If you aren’t,know that you’re making a dangerous choice, because ignoring these rules puts every single one of us, yourself included, at risk.

This is the reality. If people refuse to follow the recommendations, our doctors and nurses have more likelihood of contracting Covid-19. And if our healthcare professionals get sick, they cannot go to work, and therefore they cannot take care of you if you get sick. Our country is facing the greatest Healthcare crisis in its history. we cannot allow ourselves to put people at risk who take care of our health.

So instead of inviting people over for dinner, don’t do it. That puts everyone at risk. Grocers technicians, bus drivers, farmers, people who collect our garbage – all of those people deserve better. We must protect them. It’s not hard to do what we’re asking you to do. Just stay home. If you absolutely must go out, keep a two metre distance between you and others, and if you are coming back from travel abroad, go directly home and stay there for at least 14 days. That applies to everyone. In order to come through this, we must all look after each other and we must all do our share. I know that we can do this and I know that Canadians are equal to the task.

Thank you.”


October is the best month of the year

It’s almost the end of October and it’s time to kiss the best month of the year goodbye.

I’m in love with October, and I know I’m not the only one. From Anne of Green Gables to your favourite Instagram influencer, October is a much-favourited month.


But I’m okay with that, because October is spectacular, and it deserves to have a huge deal made about it, over and over and over again.

October is an interesting month. It’s when so many things come to a close yet so many things begin.

It’s the end of the warm weather in northern countries, yet the beginning of it in the south.

October means there’s only three months left of the year, and people start counting down to things. There’s this many days until American Thanksgiving…. There’s this many days until Christmas… Now there’s this many days until the end of the year…

I don’t do that. I savour each day of this amazing month. The years go by fast enough as it is. Even if it’s been a crappy year, I always seem to feel better in October. Like there’s a chance for new beginnings.

I’m not sure why, since that is usually a sentiment associated with January.

Maybe because, where I grew up, October is the second month of spring. It’s already hot enough to go to the beach and signals the beginning of another long Australian summer.

(It’s also a month of wildly unpredictable weather, and to this day I still don’t get why Australian brides plan their weddings for October, because you never know what you’re going to get. Risking a thunderstorm on your wedding day is no bride’s dream.)

In fact, August is the best month to have a wedding in Australia, specifically in Sydney, because the days are usually sunny and quite warm for “winter”.

You’re welcome.

But back to Canada.

In Canada, October means many things, such as:

Pumpkin everything

Yes, unlike in Australia, pumpkins, squash and all those other related gifts from Mother Nature are only available in fall, and most abundantly October.

Perfect timing too, because the temperatures start to stay in the one digit range, and you want to get into that warming, soup-making groove.

And if you’re a food or beverage brand, you capitalize on that pumpkin-mania like there’s no tomorrow. You name it, there’s a pumpkin version

Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice bread, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin spice cereal, oatmeal, ice cream, crackers, BEER. The list goes on and on.

Pumpkin carving

I know for a fact you can’t really do this in Australia because you can’t get these types of pumpkins there.

Apples galore

The thing about Canada is that its climate doesn’t lend itself to the production of many varieties of fresh produce. Apart from the very short summer where you suddenly can’t get away from summer squash, asparagus and corn, most of the food you will eat here for at least half the year is unfortunately imported.

Except for apples. Canada is absolutely lousy with apples. In fact, there are too many, and most of them end up in landfill. There are apple trees all over the GTA whose fruits just drop and decay without anyone paying any attention. It’s unfortunate since organic, unwaxed apples cost a fortune, and I have no idea why it’s like this.

At least you can enjoy an apple cider why you contemplate this conundrum.


You sing about them, but have you eaten them? Not only are they delicious, they are also so fun to make. Roasting them on an open fire is ideal, but cooking them on the stove or in the oven also works. It’s a great way to keep warm when it’s super chilly outside, because you do have to stand there and watch them so you definitely get warm.

Make sure you look up how to prepare them first though, so you don’t end up with them exploding all over your oven like I did.

True story.

Indian corn

Colourful but inedible, it makes a great fall decoration

The leaves omg

Well duh.

But remember, I grew up on the east coast of Australia, where Autumn can often be just as hot and sunny as summer. I know other parts of Australia experience something closer to a northern hemisphere fall, but I certainly never went to those places. Plus, it’s a different time of year. So it’s not the same.

Therefore, I get to be overly excited every October and take 500 pictures that look something like this and not have you judge me for how basic I am.

Fall walks and bike rides

Fall is a spectacular time of year to learn that Toronto is a lot bigger than you think! Don’t listen to those snobs that scoff at the idea of going north of Bloor or east of the Don Valley Parkway. Because there are so many amazing walking and biking trails to discover and doing it in the fall just takes your breath away.


And it actually feels like Halloween here because they’ve been doing it for years. Australia is still divided over whether Halloween is to be acknowledged.

Some of the Halloween stuff here is really cool. Seeing people’s houses decorated is my favourite.

It’s also really fun to walk through certain neighbourhoods and be around all the kids trick-or-treating (since us adult Aussies missed out on that experience when we were kids).

Other times its just brands throwing some orange and black colors on things and calling it Halloween (cough Tim Horton’s cough)

Nuit Blanche

This one is only in Toronto and it means White Night. It’s an interesting annual event where art (and that term is used very broadly) is displayed all around the city. It goes all night, so energetic night owls can roam the streets until dawn enjoying the extravaganza.

Please enjoy these terrible photos I took at Nuit Blanche in 2013.

Those are some of the things I love about October and that’s why I think it’s the best month of the year.

It’s also the best month to enjoy all that fall has to offer, in my opinion.

Because of how quickly it gets cold here, by mid-November , it’s already lot colder than October, most of the leaves and the colours are gone, and there’s nothing really fun to do (even Canadian Thanksgiving is in October.)

So it’s a rush to enjoy it all in October, before Christmas and New Years fly by and then the long winter sets in.

That means, if you hate winter, fall is actually really depressing because of what comes after it. But it sure is pretty.

Maybe I should make it all one hashtag: #octoberthebestmonthoftheyear

Food and drink

Canada’s most famous cocktail (Plus, the one drink you shouldn’t order in North America)

Canadians sure love their alcoholic beverages. Whether it’s a summer cider on a patio, a pumpkin ale in fall or a Christmas eggnog if you’re so inclined, there’s a drink for every time of year.

While their neighbours to the south are famous for their dirt cheap and widely available liquor, alcohol in Canada is still quite inexpensive when compared to Australia.

And just like Australia, Canada has many breweries, distilleries and wineries that make amazing craft beers, liquors and wines, including some limited-edition, small batch brews.

Everyone in North America: “Wait, WHAT? I thought Australians only drank Fosters beer!”

Sorry to crush your dreams (likely inspired by that one episode of The Simpsons where they go to Australia), but no, they don’t.

And don’t even get me started on knifey-spoony.

Now, back to what I was saying about CANADA.

You will never run out of options for alcoholic beverages here and you can look forward to different varieties at different times of the year.

But for a truly Canadian experience, you have to try Canada’s drink, the almighty Caesar.

If you’ve ever been to North America, or flown through there, you’ll have noticed that tomato juice is a staple beverage available everywhere.

So, it’s not surprising that tomato-juice based cocktails, like the Bloody Mary, are also a staple on a drinks menu.

The Caesar takes it a step further. A uniquely Canadian drink, it’s close to a Bloody Mary, but it has a lot more kick. Its salty, spicy flavour is super satisfying and even filling.

The recipe is vodka, tomato juice mixed with clam broth, lime, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

Clam broth? WHAT?

Okay, it sounds a little out there (and maybe a little gross to some) but it’s actually really good.

But don’t worry, you won’t see a bartender straining the juice from a pile of clams into your drink. There is a pre-mixed beverage used in most Caesar’s called Clamato, and it’s made by Mott’s.

Caesars are served in a glass rimmed with celery salt and usually garnished with one or more savoury toppings, like a pickled bean, a celery stick or some olives.

Adventurous bartenders are known to dress them up with all kinds of pickles and meats, and some of them are served towering with what looks like a vertical charcuterie spread.

I’ve even seen some that have an entire meal perched on top of them, including a full-sized hamburger!

The art of the Caesar garnish is almost a sport. Mott’s even held a Canada-wide competition to find the best Caesar in the country.

According to my sources, the Caesar is one of the most commonly-craved and sought after drinks by Canadians living abroad (especially in Australia), but since it isn’t really sold anywhere in Australia (except maybe Canadian-themed bars) Canadians make their own at home.

If that’s not your thing, no worries! There are plenty of options to suit your fancy.

But here is a tip for ordering drinks in North America.

If you order anything with lemonade, you will literally get lemonade

As in, freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with sugar. In Canada (and the USA) that’s what people will give you if you say lemonade.

But most likely, they won’t have it and they will look at you funny because they don’t realise you mean the soft drink, not something kids on TV sell on the sidewalk for pocket money.

If you want the soda, you have to ask for Sprite or 7-Up.

And don’t forget to tip! It’s the North American way.


Things to pack when you move from Australia to Canada

When Aussies are preparing to move over here, a question that is commonly asked is “What should I pack when I move from Australia Canada?”

You could come here with just the clothes on your back and a healthy amount of spending money, and Canada will have pretty much anything you need, but it will be different brands or look different.

Prices here for a lot of things are really similar. Some things are more expensive, but some are cheaper, so overall, it ends up being similar.

So you could just order anything and everything you can think of to get you started online- from furniture to underwear, and in a matter of days, you’ll have everything you need.

But you might find that you don’t like the Canadian version of some of your personal favourites, so take advantage of the generous luggage allowance airlines give North America-bound passengers and load up on them!

Here are some of the things Aussies say this wish they’d brought with them when they moved over here.

1. Vegemite

Vegemite on toast

I’m aware not every single Australian citizen enjoys Vegemite. But in both the Aussies in Toronto and Aussies in Canada Facebook groups I am a member of, it is one of the most frequently asked questions. Previously fairly easy to find, it was recently pulled off the shelves and now people are clamouring for it.

It’s bad out there, guys.

But please do yourself a favour and pack the ones in the plastic containers. Unless you are a packing wizard, it’s likely the glass jars won’t hold up in your luggage. I’ve seen quite a few tragic stories of Vegemite jars travelling across the Pacific only to arrive as a gunky heap of broken glass. R.I.P. Vegemite.

2. Lucas Paw Paw ointment

Lucas paw paw ointment

If you’re a devoted paw paw user, like a lot of Aussies are, be aware that it’s not available here (and is a god send for those chapped winter lips!) If you’re already here and you’re sans paw paw and desperate, you can order it on Amazon for a hefty mark-up.

3. A new cell phone

Because buying one one on a plan is expensive here. You’re obviously going to come here with your own cell phone from home anyway, but make sure it’s a good one that you’ll want to keep during your time here. Don’t be planning to buy a better phone when you get here thinking it will be cheaper. It’s obviously a lot cheaper to go on a “bring your own device plan” especially for iPhones.

4. Snow/Winter gear

But only if you already own it

If you are someone who goes to “the snow” in Australia and has your own collection of proper winter gear, and you are planning to continue doing winter sports when you arrive in Canada, bring it with you. Otherwise buy it when you get here. Not only is it much more affordable here, you also won’t be taking up precious space in your luggage on the trip over.

5. Aussie foods you love.

While some things are starting to appear on Canadian shelves, there are other things you’ll start craving that you won’t be able to get here- think Milo, Allen’s Lollies, Twisties, Cherry Ripes, Picnics, Shapes, etc. (Note: you will see tins of Milo on supermarket shelves but it’s imposter Milo. Don’t fall for it. Trust me! It’s made elsewhere and tastes and looks more like Nesquik then Milo).

Oh and CHICKEN SALT! It is SO not a thing here!

some Australian snack foods

6. A voltage converter

Not just an adapter, but a converter, unless you want to blow up your single voltage devices. The voltage in North America is only 120 volts versus the 240 volts in Australia. I did not know this and upon arrival I immediately destroyed my $300 Parlux hair dryer (and my not so expensive Babyliss curling iron). Oops. Thankfully my laptop survived.

Even then, voltage converters are generally better for short-term use. If you use your hairdryer several times a week and you stay here for 2 years, you’re not going to want to rely on a voltage converter. I’ve heard stories about devices not operating as well as they used to while using them through a converter. It’s better if you purchase appliances that are dual voltage (this way you can take them back home and use them there with just an adapter) or purchase new appliances that are rated for the North America voltage . Thankfully, compared to Australia, many of these appliances are reasonably priced for decent brands.

7. For the ladies – Bonds undies.

Okay, this is a weird, very specific one, but it’s really hard to find 100% cotton women’s underwear here for some reason! I have seen a lot of men’s underwear that is 100% cotton in many places though. But for women, it’s a lot of microfibre, or lycra, or 96% cotton/4% spandex, or something else. Maybe I haven’t been looking in the right places, and feel free to correct me, but I’ve been here for 7 years and I still haven’t found them – not in La Senza, Victoria Secret, La Vie En Rose, Walmart – anywhere. I gave up looking after a few years. Maybe that’s why. Anyway – if you love your Bonds undies, bring several!

So there you have it. Seven things you definitely need to include in your “I’m moving to Canada” packing list!

What else would be on your list? Let me know in the comments!