Trudeau’s daily coronavirus update: Feds extending CEWS beyond June (Full transcript)

In his May 8 briefing to Canadians, the PM announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended ‘to help kickstart our economic reopening and boost jobs’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Rideau Cottage during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Thursday, May 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Rideau Cottage during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Thursday, May 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a daily update on the coronavirus crisis each day in front of his home in Ottawa. Here are his remarks in English for May 8, 2020.

Hello, everyone.

Earlier today, we received the job report for April.

These numbers tell us what we already knew, that right now Canadians are hurting because of this pandemic. Everyone has their own story, but it all boils down to a very difficult time for a lot of people. Canadians aren’t alone in this, as the world faces COVID-19. But if you’re out of work, you don’t need to hear that other people are out of work, too. You need to know that there is a plan to get you through this and get you back on the job. And that’s exactly what this government is focused on.

In the face of this unprecedented challenge, we’ve taken action. Maybe you’re one of the more than seven million people getting this CERB to help make ends meet. Or better yet, maybe thanks to the wage subsidy, your employer has been able to rehire you. That’s what’s happened for people who work at Pursuit, a Banff Tourism Company. They’re back on the job because of this program. We created the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to protect jobs wherever possible.


Since it launched last week, employers have applied for subsidies for almost two million workers. And as provinces and territories start to gradually reopen over the coming months and the CERB becomes less and less needed, this subsidy will play an even greater role. That’s why I can announce today that we will be extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy beyond June to help kickstart our economic reopening and boost jobs.

We’ll have more details next week, but to businesses hit by COVID-19, know this: the wage subsidy will continue to be there for you to help you keep your employees on the payroll. So, fill out the application at if you haven’t already done so. And if you had to let people go, try to bring them back. It’s those workers who will drive our economy’s short and long term recovery.

On other support, the Canada Emergency Business Account has been accessed by well over half a million businesses to give them much needed loans. Between the CEBA and the wage subsidy, we’re helping employers across the country keep Canadians on the job. Now, even though we’re reaching millions of Canadians, we need to reach even more. We’re working around the clock to update and adjust so that help gets to as many workers, small businesses, families and young people as possible.

We also know that some sectors have been hit especially hard. So we’re stepping up on that, too. Minister Bains will be leading a new Industry Strategy Council chaired by Monique Leroux. This council will take a deeper dive into how the pandemic is affecting specific sectors and how to best support them. We’re leveraging expertise from the economic strategy tables we set up in the first mandate as well as looking to new industry leaders. This will be a dedicated forum for industry and government to come together on tackling the effects of COVID-19, and it builds on what we’ve already done for workers in everything from energy to agriculture.

On that note, Minister Guilbeault will have more details at noon about how our $500 million package for arts, culture, and amateur sport, is now being rolled out to support workers in those sectors. This investment will help people access wage support and help organizations access funding. Our artists, creators and young athletes inspire us and help us feel connected even when we’re at home. They’re there for us and we’re gonna be there for them. No matter where you work, no matter who you are, these are tough times. But with the right plan, we will get through this and we’ll come back stronger than ever.

It’s hard to think of tougher times for our country, but as our elders remind us, Canada has faced challenges before and we’ve always overcome them. Today we mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and the end of the Second World War on the continent. After six years of war, it must have felt like that day would never come. But it did. And it came because of the courage of all who served and because of the sacrifice of all who gave their lives. It has been 75 years since our grandparents and great grandparents stood up to do their part. Seventy five years since they stood united and strong to ensure that we would live in peace and freedom. Today, as our generation faces our own battle, let us be inspired by them and their valour as we protect them and all Canadians.

This is our challenge and I know we will rise to meet it. Thank you.