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Press Conference by Secretary-General António Guterres at United Nations Headquarters

Following is a transcript of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ press conference with Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau of Canada and Andrew Holness of Jamaica on the high-level event on financing for development in the era of COVID‑19 and beyond, in New York today:

Thank you very much.  Allow me, before starting, a personal testimony.  I am deeply moved by the information I just received of the passing of His Highness, the Emir of Kuwait.  The Emir of Kuwait was an extraordinary symbol of wisdom and generosity, a messenger of peace, a bridge builder.

I will never forget, as High Commissioner for Refugees, that I witnessed his initiative and his leadership in some of the most important humanitarian actions in the world.  Millions of people have seen their lives saved or their communities in deep distress — because of conflict or natural disasters — being assisted and protected.  He was always in the first line of mobilizing the international community in acts of solidarity with those in need.

I want to express to his family and to the Government and people of Kuwait my deepest condolences.

Now, in just four months, since Prime Minister Trudeau, Prime Minister Holness and I convened global leaders in May, 25 million more people have contracted COVID-19 and 600,000 more people have died.  There are over 33 million confirmed cases around the world, and the number of lives lost has already passed 1 million.  The crisis has snatched lives and livelihoods and taken an unprecedented toll on economies, particularly in the countries and communities least able to cope.

So far, we have not yet seen enough solidarity to assist with the massive and urgent support those countries and communities need.  The international community should also increase the resources available to the International Monetary Fund, including through a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights and a voluntary reallocation of existing Special Drawing Rights.

This is exactly the kind of crisis for which the IMF was created — to put teetering economies back on their feet.  We will not see a global recovery until we have stopped the virus in its tracks.

Second, many countries urgently need debt relief.  I hope the Debt Service Suspension Initiative will be extended and its scope expanded to all developing and middle-income countries in need.  The private sector, including the credit rating agencies, must be engaged in relief efforts.  I am encouraged to see over 40 Heads of State and Government and the leaders of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] and the African Union coming together around these bold policies.

Then, I urge the international community to take a collective action to provide $35 billion to the ACT-Accelerator to ensure equitable access to diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.  Of that, we need $15 billion immediately, to move from successful start-up to scale-up.

Third, I strongly encourage providing resources at scale to developing economies, namely through the World Bank and other multilateral development banks, either using existing facilities or innovative facilities of concessional financing that are so important for the most needed countries.

Governments must have the resources to invest in job creation and retention, get education and businesses back on track, and align their budgets with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, in order to build forward, stronger, greener and better.  COVID-19 is an acute crisis.  But the problems the pandemic has exposed are chronic pre-existing conditions.

Ignoring these warning signs is an act of planetary self-harm.  We must stop the virus in its tracks; respond; recover; and strengthen our systems for the future.  I want to thank Prime Ministers Trudeau and Holness for their leadership, as well as all who have come together today in solidarity.

Spokesman:  Thank you very much, sir.  I now give the floor to the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness.  Sir, you now have the floor.

Prime Minister Holness:  We have today presented a rich menu of policy options to address the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our people’s lives and livelihoods.  These options reflect the commendable work done by six country-led discussion groups that focused on critical aspects of the policies.  They have submitted for the consideration of Heads concrete proposals to mobilize the resources required to finance near term emergency measures to provide crisis relief, stimulate recovery efforts over the medium term and invest in long-term resilience-building based on sustainable development pathways that are inclusive and leave no one behind.

Our objective in organizing this high-level event was to secure buy-in at the highest political level to mount an ambitious coordinated international effort commensurate with the magnitude of the crisis.  We have succeeded in getting the support of world leaders to take bold and decisive action to mitigate the devastating impact of the pandemic.  As we adopt the language of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva to build forward stronger, we must be bold, creative and optimistic about the future.  We can use the global financial system as a force multiplier; we must however ensure that we target support and recovery at all levels nationally and globally, acknowledge that the need for action is particularly acute in relation to developing countries, which are the most vulnerable.

Indeed, until every country recovers, there can be no greener, smarter, stronger, and more equitable global recovery.  This must be our collective goal, keeping people including our women and youth at the center, and acting within this context, we will ensure effective collaboration between Governments, international organizations, international financial institutions, civil society, and the private sector.  The measures we will take are designed to stimulate the flows of pipe investment, spur the creation of decent jobs, lower the transaction cost of remittances, lay the foundations for a green inclusive and resilient recovery, provide liquidity to developing countries with limited fiscal space, address debt vulnerability, increase our engagement with the private sector and collaborate with other international entities to prevent illicit financial flows.

We are convinced that the scale of the crisis warrants a broad-based and coordinated international effort.  The UN is the most suitable global organization to spearhead this initiative, supported by institutions with existing mechanisms that can be quickly leveraged to deliver the results urgently needed by the world, and in particular, the developing world.  We will be holding another meeting in December, at which time we will consider the best and most appropriate method of structuring the initiative going forward.  We recognize that there are various international actors and entities that are already working on some of these issues and intend to maintain our collaboration with them and draw on their expertise.  With that said, I look forward to receiving your questions.

Spokesman:  Thank you very much, sir.  And I now give the floor to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.  Sir, you have the floor.

Prime Minister Trudeau:  Thank you very much.  Allow me first to echo Secretary-General Guterres in remembering the Emir of Kuwait.  I had the opportunity to meet with him just a number of months ago in February, where his leadership in the region and his generosity towards hosting Canadian troops there on the ground was much appreciated and he will be deeply missed.  Our thoughts go out to the Kuwaiti people and everyone who knew his leadership.

Nous sommes sur le point de conclure notre rencontre sur le financement du développement à l’ère de la COVID-19.  J’aimerais d’abord remercier le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, António Guterres, pour son apport précieux lors de ces sessions de travail, le premier ministre Holness pour son leadership, ainsi que tous ceux qui participent à cette initiative avec nous depuis le début.

The fight against COVID-19 is far from over.  In many parts of the world, including Canada, the number of new cases is rising, and quickly.  We must do everything we can to flatten the curve as much as possible.  That means following public health recommendations and using all the tools available, from wearing masks to — in Canada — downloading the free COVID Alert app.

I spoke with Ontario Premier Ford last night and told him our Government will continue to work with provinces and territories to ensure they have what they need to keep Canadians safe.  Right now, everyone is working very hard to make sure we can increase our testing capacity in Ontario and elsewhere.

J’ai aussi parlé au premier ministre Legault, hier.  De nouvelles mesures pour ralentir la propagation du virus ont été prises par son gouvernement dans différentes régions du Québec.  Je lui ai répété qu’il a le plein appui du gouvernement fédéral pour aider les gens à passer à travers cette deuxième vague et aplatir la courbe de nouveau.  Comme on l’a mentionné dans le discours du trône, le gouvernement du Canada s’engage à prendre les moyens nécessaires pour aider les commerces qui seront touchés par des fermetures dans ces régions.

Around the world, the pandemic has worsened long-standing challenges of poverty, inequality, and climate change.  Last spring, Canada convened a high-level meeting with Prime Minister Holness of Jamaica, and the Secretary-General to discuss a global response as we build a better, more equitable system.  In May, we agreed to look at six urgent areas of action to mobilize financing, and today, with over 60 international partners, we have continued that important work.

Plus que jamais, le moment est venu d’offrir un porte-voix aux plus vulnérables pour trouver de vraies solutions novatrices et durables.  Aujourd’hui, entre autres, nous nous sommes entretenus avec la directrice générale du FMI, Kristalina Georgieva, et avec David Malpass, le président de la Banque Mondiale.  Nous devons continuer à nous mobiliser auprès des institutions financières internationales pour nous assurer que les petits États insulaires en développement aient accès au financement nécessaire pour traverser la crise.

From ensuring equitable access to vaccines to providing more time for distressed countries to make bilateral debt payments — including Caribbean and small island States — we are working on concrete options that will help build a more resilient world for the short, medium, and long term.  The global community must not give up on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs.  And in fact, we should seize the opportunity to do even more. 

Earlier this morning, I announced that Canada will invest an additional $400 million in humanitarian and development funding to fight COVID-19, with even more in the years to come.  We will make sure that women and girls, who have been disproportionally impacted by the consequences of COVID-19, benefit from this new funding.  We must listen to the needs of small island developing States, and other vulnerable countries, and help carry their voices to the World Bank, the G7, the G20, and other organizations this fall.

Ensemble, je sais que nous pouvons bâtir des systèmes économiques plus durables, et plus inclusifs.  Nous allons poursuivre le travail lors de notre prochaine rencontre en décembre afin de continuer sur notre lancée pour 2021, et les années à venir.  Merci.  We’re now happy to take your questions.

**Questions and Answers

Spokesman: Merci beaucoup.  The first question will go to Edie Lederer of the Associated Press here in New York.

Question:  Thank you very much, on behalf of the United Nations Correspondents Association, for doing this important briefing.  The Secretary‑General has called for months for a double‑digit percentage response to try and tackle the sprawling outcomes of the COVID‑19 pandemic, yet that figure is far from being reached.  I would like to ask each of you what the major obstacles are and how you see them being overcome much sooner rather than later.  Thank you.

Spokesman:  Please, sir.

Secretary-General:  Well, as a matter of fact, double digit of GDP (gross domestic product), as a percentage, packages are today a reality in most of the developed world.  If you look at the programmes in the United States, Canada or in Europe, you’ll see them.  The problem is to mobilize the resources to allow the developing countries to be able to do the same, and that is the reason we have been gathering, and that is the reason we had the first summit, then the working groups, then the Ministers of Finance meeting, this summit, the following in December, to pave the way for the bodies that need to take decisions on this — the Boards of the IMF, the World Bank, the G7, the G20 — to be able to mobilize the resources to allow all other countries to be able to have similar packages in relation to their economies.

And this has to do to the strengthening of the resources, the IMF and the World Bank and the other international financial institutions.  We have been talking about Special Drawing Rights and new facilities to be created.  This is everything that relates to debt relief programmes and to enlarging the scope of the measures already approved by the G20, and this has to do with the vaccine and the need to massively invest in creating a vaccine that is a global public good.  So, I believe that this process… which is not an alternative to the decision‑making bodies that exist.  This process is paving the way, is opening roads to allow for those roads to be travelled by those decision‑making bodies with the objective of making sure that this double‑digit requirement that exists today at the level of the developed countries will be extended to the developing world and will be extended also to those middle‑income countries that face particular difficulties because of their debt or because of their nature of their economies, like in the small island developing States.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  I’ll go to Prime Minister Holness, if he wants to add anything, and then to Prime Minister Trudeau.

Prime Minister Holness:  I want to support the answer given by the Secretary‑General.  This initiative creates the pathway for developed countries to align their global outlook to the developing country outlook.  The truth is that we all have to take a self‑enlightened perspective on the global financial system, and the pandemic presents an opportunity for us to rethink the global financial system and how the global financial system can be used to promote more equitable development globally.  And, so, this initiative helps that and creates the platform on which that can be done.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  Prime Minister Trudeau?

Prime Minister Trudeau:  Thank you very much.  Just briefly to add, I mean, we know that, in a time of crisis, it is a natural human inclination to want to hunker down and look inward and protect each other and protect ourselves and you think later about your neighbours and other countries around the world.  Well, this particular crisis requires us to make sure that we are working together as a global community, because no country can eliminate the COVID‑19 virus until all countries eliminate the COVID‑19 virus.  No country can come out and restore economic prosperity unless we also have a global restoration of economic prosperity.  Canada has long understood that, and that’s why we’re continuing to step up with hundreds of millions of dollars towards COVAX, towards global financing, towards debt relief, towards all the things that we can do.  But we also know that we need to include more countries in that, and that’s why this initiative with Jamaica and the Secretary‑General is all about convening the decision‑making bodies from G7 to G20, from the World Bank to the IMF, to be part of understanding exactly how we can best make sure that we all get through this and to the other side as quickly as possible.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  We will now go to a Jamaican journalist, Kelesha Williams from Jamaican Television.  Kelesha, please, you have the floor.

Question:  Thank you so much.  Good morning.  I want to start by asking to Prime Minister Holness, any comment made so far based on the dialogue you’ve been having with world leaders to provide more financial assistance to small island developing States like Jamaica?  And, if yes, what’s the time frame or timeline given?

Prime Minister Holness:  Well, the initiative, it’s not designed specifically just for small island developing States.  Small island developing States are one subset of considerations.  And so far, countries have committed to establish initiatives for COVAX, for example, that would help small countries like Jamaica access vaccine and the debt service initiatives would also be useful for other Small Island Developing States and some middle‑income countries.  So, it is a complex of initiatives that will support the developed countries, and small island developing States would be a subset of that.  We’re not at the point where specifics have been decided, but certainly, as was said before, we’re developing the platform on which new initiatives that could be potentially beneficial to countries like Jamaica will be developed.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  Mike Blanchfield from Canadian Press.  Mike, you have the floor.

Correspondent:  I’m trying to un‑mute, and I appear to be stuck.  Can I get my colleague Stephanie to answer… ask the question, please?

Spokesman:  We can hear you.  Go ahead.  We can hear you.

Question:  Oh, great.  Okay.  Given that…  this is a question I’d like answered in both official languages, of course.  I have a question for the Prime Minister and a follow‑up for the Secretary‑General.  Given that the WHO (World Health Organization) is satisfied that rapid COVID‑19 tests are good enough to send millions of them to developing countries and several to our international peers and they’ve improved domestically there, why exactly is Canada still unsatisfied that they’re okay to use…  that they’re not okay to use here?

Spokesman:  Prime Minister Trudeau.

Prime Minister Trudeau:  Thanks, Mike.  Obviously, Canadian scientists are working very, very hard to approve all sorts of different rapid tests.  We will continue to be informed by the approvals and processes and data gathered in other countries, but those scientists will and… medical experts will make the determinations that are best for Canadians.  On the political side, as much as we’d love to see those tests as quickly as possible, we’re not going to tell our scientists how to do their job and do that work.  But we are, however, ensuring that, as soon as those approvals happen, we are ready to deliver these tests across the country.  We’re working already on procurement mechanisms, because we know that rapid testings is part of the solution on how we get through this.

Nous savons que c’est important que nos scientifiques et nos experts puissent analyser comme il faut les différents processus et évidemment, ils vont être informés par les études des différentes méthodes de dépistage qui sont faites à travers le monde.  Mais ils vont prendre les décisions qui sont bonnes pour le Canada avec les moyens que nous avons.  Bien sûr, on veut voir ces tests-là approuvés le plus rapidement possible, mais ça ce ne serait pas correct que les politiciens mettent de la pression pour arriver à une décision scientifique plus rapidement.  On a besoin de respecter le travail de nos experts et de nos scientifiques.  En même temps, nous sommes en train de faire les arrangements nécessaires pour que dès que ces tests de dépistage soient approuvés au Canada, on puisse les distribuer à travers le Canada, o ù ils sont si nécessaires, parce que c’est ce à quoi les Canadiens s’attendent et c’est ce dont on a besoin.

Spokesman:  Mike, you’re still muted.  So, if you could un‑mute Mike Blanchfield, please.  Thank you.  Go ahead, start again, please.

Question:  Okay.  Apologies.  Quick follow‑up for the Secretary‑General and the Prime Minister of Canada.  Are you con…  and in both official languages, please, a reminder.  Are you concerned about a contested election result in the United States?  And what are you doing to prepare for the potential international consequences of such a situation?

Secretary-General:  Les Nations unies n’interfèrent pas dans les développements électoraux de n’importe quel pays dans le monde.  Nous respectons toujours le résultat des élections et nous travaillons avec les gouvernements qui sont élus.

Spokesman:  Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Trudeau:  As the Secretary‑General has said, Canada is, of course, fully respectful of the processes under way in the United States.  We will not be interfering or engaging in any way in their electoral processes, and that includes commenting on their electoral processes.  We will, of course, continue to prepare for any outcomes and be there to stand up for Canadians as we always have through these past years and before that.  The role of the Canadian Government is to be there to defend Canadian interests while working with elected leaders around the world, and we will continue to do that.

Nous, évidemment, regardons ce qui se passe aux États-Unis mais nous n’allons pas commenter sur les processus.  Notre responsabilité en tant que gouvernement canadien, c’est de se préparer à toutes sortes d’éventualités et d’être là pour défendre les intérêts des Canadiens et c’est ce que nous allons faire en travaillant avec quiconque sera élu à travers le monde.

SpokesmanMerci.  Thank you very much.  We’ll now go to a Jamaican journalist, Chevon Campbell.  Chevon, you have the floor.  Chevon Campbell, if you could try to un‑mute?  All right.  We will go back to you.  Yes, go ahead.  Go ahead.

Question:  Good afternoon.  Chevon Campbell.  This is for the Prime Minister of Jamaica.  As you pointed out the need for an equitable distribution of a vaccine to all developing countries, are any deals currently in place to allow this to be possible once one is available?

Prime Minister Holness:  Well, as I’d mentioned before, Jamaica subscribes to the COVAX initiative under the WHO and PAHO (Pan American Health Organization).  I believe that that initiative will be significant in ensuring that countries like Jamaica can get equitable access to the vaccine when a safe, tried, tested, proven vaccine is available.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  We’ll go to Pamela Falk from CBS News and then NHK.  Pamela?

Question:  Yes.  On that last point… thank you very much, Secretary‑General and Prime Ministers.  It’s Pamela Falk from CBS News.  My question is about the COVAX programme, the coronavirus vaccine‑sharing and accelerating programme.  You’ve all said it should be available to all, and yet the United States has not been part of it, although some members of the private sector in the United States are.  Is there anything you have done as outreach to the United States to come back into the COVAX programme?  And how optimistic are you that the money will come in for it and distribution of a vaccine or many vaccines, once they’re available, will be distributed fairly?  Thank you.

Secretary-General:  I think we must distinguish two dimensions.  One is the COVAX in itself.  The COVAX is a coalition of a large number of States with several international organizations, including those that are experts in vaccines, and they are working with private companies in the development, then in the production and then in the distribution of vaccines.  And that is for that project that I have been appealing for [$35] billion additional dollars in relation to the [$3] billion that are already in place.  On top of that, there are several countries with their own initiatives to provide vaccines to their own citizens and also countries that have announced that they would have programmes, not only for their own citizens but that they would share their vaccines with the developing countries.  It is the case of India.  It is the case of China and of other countries that have announced…  Japan, that have announced that.

So, we have nothing against the fact that the Government provides vaccines to its own people.  What is necessary is that all Governments also cooperate through the COVAX or in coordination with the COVAX in all initiatives that are necessary to guarantee that everybody everywhere has access to an affordable vaccine, because if this will not be the case, even vaccination programmes in developed countries will be ineffective because we will only get free of the virus if we’ll get free of the virus everywhere.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  Prime Minister Trudeau.

Correspondent:  Prime Minister Trudeau, yes.  Thank you.

Prime Minister Trudeau:  Yes, we understand how important it is to eradicate the virus at home and everywhere at the same time.  That’s why Canada’s moved forward in a number of different ways to ensure that, wherever and whenever the [vaccine] is developed, we make sure we’re maximizing our chances to be able to obtain it.  So, a big chunk of that is through contributing close to half a billion dollars to the COVAX Facility, which works as in we are securing doses for Canada at the same time…  that we’re paying for and at the same time as we will be paying for an equal number of doses to be distributed to the developing world.  That’s the large functioning of it that allows for countries to both secure domestic capacity at a reasonable price but also ensure that our initiative gets vaccines out to other countries, as well, who don’t have the capacity to pay.

At the same time, Canada has secured bilateral deals with many pharmaceutical companies and potential vaccines to double up on our chances to be able to access vaccines once one becomes available.  But we know that participating internationally and ensuring vaccines for the developing world is incredibly important as we move forward and which is why we’re full‑fledged supporters of the COVAX Facility.

Spokesman:  Thank you very much.  Mr. Sato from NHK, Japanese Television, in the room.  Mr. Sato.

Question:  Thank you, Secretary‑General.  Thank you, Stéphane.  My question was…  is similar to that of Pamela, but let me add a question about the vaccine cooperation.  So, although that the US and the Chinese leader expressed that their cooperative attitude in the general debate in terms of vaccine cooperation, but still China and the US has, in many cases, in the…  some conflict.  So, what is…  if you have a message to the China and the US leaders, what is your message to leaders in times of the…  to complete…  to fulfil the fair distribution of vaccine to the world?

Secretary-General:  I think it is very clear that there are many differences and many things that separate these two countries, but I believe that global public health is essential for everybody.  And, so, my appeal to the leaders of these two countries, as to all other leaders in the world, is to join efforts and, namely, to join efforts in order to make sure that we will have treatments, testing, and vaccines available for everybody everywhere to the benefit of not only the developing world but also of the developed world.  If the global South will not be able to eradicate the virus, the virus will, unfortunately, go back to the global North, and we need to avoid it at all costs.

Spokesman:  Thank you.  Do any of the Prime Ministers wish to add something?  Okay.  We’ll go to Catherine Levesque from Le Devoir, I believe.  Catherine?  Hold on.  You’re still muted.  Could we un‑mute Catherine Levesque, please?  There we go.  Go ahead.  Okay.  You’re still muted.  While we get that sorted, let’s go to Ibtisam Azem.  Ibtisam, you have a question.  Go ahead.

Question:  Yeah, thank you.  Thank you, Steph.  Thank you, Prime Ministers and the Secretary‑General.  I have… my question is, I want to go back to the issue of financing, and as you know, there is a drain of resources; there’s different reports, including the Facti panel report about at least 5 to 600 billion corporate tax revenues a year that get lost, also trillions of private wealth and hidden havens…  countries.   So, my question to you, is there…  I’m aware that there is an international mechanism to try to tackle these problems, but it seems to me that this mechanism is not working.  So, is there…  given the situation we are going through and the need for the money and resources, is there any work now or exact plans that you are working on to try to recover some of these monies to put it also in development and supporting the projects that… yeah, in development and supporting the vaccine and all other money that is needed in place?  Thank you very much.

Secretary-General:  Well, first of all, one of the things that has been in the centre of our discussions in the group is exactly everything related to illicit financial flows, to money laundering, to tax evasion.  And that, of course, has also to do with the need to fight corruption and to have good governance, and this is one area of concern that we have.  The other area of concern that we have is that our tax systems in the world are, of course, on a country basis, and that creates a number of gaps that allow many global corporations to pay a very limited amount of taxes.  And what we have been saying is that we need to organize things and to increase international cooperation in order to make sure that there isn’t unfair taxation for people and corporations and, namely, that tax havens and other instruments are conveniently disciplined and, if possible, cancelled.

So, there is an area that is essential, which is to try to have a more fair way of taxing corporate income and personal income in the world.  And finally, of course, there is always an appeal for those that have been benefiting from the situation to contribute, from a philanthropic point of view, to all the causes that we have been mentioning.  But I would say that it is better to bet on justice than to bet on philanthropy.

Spokesman:  Thank you, sir.  The last question will go to Helene Buzzetti from Le Devoir.  Helene Buzzetti?

Question:  Bonjour.  Ma question est pour M. Trudeau.  Il y a des millions de Québécois qui vont bientôt être en zone rouge.  Il sera interdit de recevoir de la famille, des amis chez eux.  Puisque vous êtes un député québécois, comment expliquez-vous que ce soit le Québec qui soit encore l’épicentre de la crise au Canada?  Et plus spécifiquement, pensez-vous qu’il faudrait permettre aux policiers d’aller chez les gens afin de s’assurer qu’ils appliquent les consignes sanitaires, puisque c’est là que semble être le problème?

Prime Minister Trudeau:  On est en train de voir une croissance des cas à travers le pays et effectivement c’est pire un peu dans nos grandes villes, qu’on parle de Toronto, de Calgary…  Mais certainement, à Montréal et à Québec, c’est une grande préoccupation.  En tant que député montréalais, j’ai parlé au Premier Ministre Legault hier soir pour souligner que nous sommes là en tant que gouvernement fédéral à appuyer ces commerces, ces citoyens dans des situations extrêmement difficiles.  Nous savons que cette deuxième vague pourrait être dévastatrice pour bien des entreprises.  C’est pour ça que nous devons suivre les instructions des autorités de santé publique.  Par rapport aux actions de la police, ça, c’est une question pour le Premier Ministre Legault, pour gérer les règles qu’il est en train de mettre en place.  En tant que gouvernement fédéral nous allons être là pour appuyer les citoyens.

Question:  Et en sous-question, donc je comprends que nous n’avez pas de position précise sur la police.  Mais j’aimerais aussi revenir sur les entreprises, les PME.  Beaucoup d’entre elles vont fermer leurs portes dans les prochains jours.  La première vague avait été difficile, la deuxième risque de signer l’arrêt de mort de plusieurs d’entre elles.  Avez-vous d’autres munitions dans votre arsenal d’aide et si oui, quelles sont-elles?

Spokesman:  Thank you.

Prime Minister Trudeau:  Comme on l’a souligné dans le discours du trône, on est prêts à répondre directement dans des situations ou effectivement il va y avoir des fermetures régionales ou locales.  Nous avons plusieurs outils, dont la subvention salariale, dont le compte d’urgence pour les petites entreprises, les appuis directs aux entreprises et nous sommes en train actuellement de regarder la meilleure façon d’aider les entreprises qui voient cette deuxième fermeture avec énormément d’anxiété.  Comme je l’ai dit depuis le début, nous allons être là pour aider les Canadiens à passer à travers cette crise et c’est exactement ce que nous allons faire.

Spokesman:  Monsieur le Premier Ministre, merci beaucoup.  Prime Minister Holness, thank you very much for being with us.  Thank you for joining us online.  Secretary‑General, thank you.  And we hope to see all of you very soon.  Thank you, and stay safe.

Secretary-General:  All the best.  Thank you very much.  Merci.

Correspondent:  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.