Canadian News May 19, 2020 3:47 PM EST

Trudeau pledges support for WHO, praises global organizations

"We will continue to support the WHO, even as we look for improvements to our multilateral systems," said Trudeau, defending the organization.

Trudeau pledges support for WHO, praises global organizations
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed media outside Rideau Cottage for the first time since Friday, providing updates on the COVID-19 crisis.

Trudeau started by providing updates on the border, saying that the border closure will remain in place for all but essential travel. Trudeau also gave his heartfelt condolences to the family of RCAF Capt. Jenn Casey, who tragically passed away on Sunday following the crash of her plane near a residency in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Trudeau announced the expansion of eligibility for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA.) Trudeau said more information would be available soon, for those who want to apply.  

Trudeau also congratulated Canada's territories for opening their first University, Yukon University.

Regarding the border, Trudeau said that the decisions being made are changing "week to week," saying that decisions would be made "as time goes on."

Trudeau said the "right answers to those questions" for non-essential travel will come as time continues, saying that the federal government was working closely with provincial governments to have strong measures in place at the border for non-essential travel.

Yesterday, Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden said that if he were to win in November's election, that the Keystone XL pipeline project would be scrapped. Referring to this, Trudeau said that he has "always advocated for the pipeline," saying that his government will work with whatever government holds power in the US and promote the project's importance, "even if we move forward to a different future."

The United Nations and the World Health Organization

Regarding Canada's future in the United Nations, Trudeau touched on Canada's important global voice moving forward, and referred to global institutions that were founded after World War II as an example of how this would be possible.

"The UN security council seat is a means for Canada to continue its strong advocacy and presence for our values on the world stage. We know that there is a lot of reflection that needs to be had on how to handle this COVID-19 crisis, and how to bring forward a better world in the coming years."

"When we reflect on the scale of this crisis, many people have compared it to what happened 75 years ago during World War II. Well, in the years following World War II, we created a range of multi-lateral and multinational institutions like the IMF, like the World Bank, the Bretton-Woods institutions, that helped the world over the following decades develop tremendous prosperity and opportunity for people right around the world," continued Trudeau.

"Canada's voice is going to be really important... as it will be as we create a better, more prosperous, fairer world for everyone. Canada having a voice at the UN security council will allow us to continue to be at the heart of those discussions as we move forward as a planet."

Regarding the WHO, Trudeau came to the defence of the organization, saying that there were "things we need to work on."

"Canada believes that multilateral institutions like the WHO are extremely important, particularly at a time of global health crisis like this one. No global institution is perfect and there are obviously things we need to work on and improve about multilateralism, and that's one of the reasons why Canada has been so incredibly active over these past weeks and months," said the prime minister.

"We will continue to support the WHO, even as we look for improvements to our multilateral systems."

Regarding China's influence over the WHO, Trudeau said that there will "always" be reflections between the largest donors to multilateral institutions, saying that there will need to be "questions" about the independence and strength of those organizations.

"That balance needs to be looked at carefully, there will be some real questions around China over the coming months and years."

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