The Canadian Armed Forces are ready if we need them. The Prime Minister confirmed on Monday that while there have been no specific requests for military support just yet, the forces are “geared up” in preparation. Trudeau added that they are “ready to answer the call” to help combat COVID-19 in Canada.
Speaking from Rideau Cottage once again on Monday, the Prime Minister confirmed that the country’s military is prepared to provide assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, should it become necessary.
“Over the past few weeks, the Canadian Armed Forces have been gearing up to support our efforts and our communities as we fight COVID-19,” he said.
Noting that none of Canada’s provinces or territories had officially requested military intervention at this stage, Trudeau explained that there were preparations in place if this should change.
“Our women and men in uniform have always been there for Canadians in their time of need and this pandemic is no exception,” he stated.
Whether the response is sending supplies, or simply providing assistance during the upcoming flood or forest fire season, the PM confirmed that the Canadian Armed Forces are “ready to answer the call.”
According to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, up to 24,000 regular and reserve force members could be called upon.
When Canadians call, the @CanadianForces will be there. The @CanadianArmy, @RCAF_ARC & @RoyalCanNavy have together… https://t.co/v7ViqOhrZa— Harjit Sajjan (@Harjit Sajjan)1585587564.0
Confirming that the Canadian military has a plan to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the PM stated that more information would soon follow.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan explained that the forces would be able to provide a wide variety of support during the pandemic.
In particular, they will be focusing on northern and Arctic communities, who have limited health and support capabilities.
“We are also talking about emergency preparedness with premiers, that will be done further, during our next virtual meeting,” Trudeau explained.
Just days ago, Trudeau spoke out against the idea of having American or Canadian troops stationed at the Canada-U.S. border, which has been closed to all non-essential travel.
"Canada and the United States have the longest un-militarized border in the world and it is very much in both of our interests for it to remain that way," he said on March 26.
Trudeau confirmed that the border will remain closed for as long as necessary.
During Monday's press conference, he also announced that the federal government would be expanding the wage subsidy for Canadian businesses, regardless of their size.
“This unprecedented situation calls for unprecedented action," he said.