Wednesday December 15, 2021 | NATIONAL
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
This evening, Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau addressed fellow Liberals during a livestreamed year-end celebration livestreamed as The Laurier Club Holiday Event.
Trudeau spoke for about half an hour, first with his own remarks and then giving some detailed answers to questions from the moderator.
Unlike the annual televised Christmas message that Canadians are accustomed to, this one — very casual, directly to Liberal members — took place against a simple red background, with the Prime Minister sitting on a stool (he remarked he’d been promised an armchair!).
COVID a “terrible tragedy”:
Trudeau described COVID as “a terrible tragedy” over the past two years, with “too many losses and too much hardship” but “also an opportunity to reflect on who we are as Canadians”, how Canadians are “there for each other and supporting each other”.
He lauded the audience for being “extraordinary examples of that”, of “the kind of Canadians that made it possible as a country to get through this pandemic the way we have”. He said there has been support for workers, families, seniors and young people.
“The best thing you can do, to handle this, is give as much support as you can,” said Trudeau, in outlining how at the beginning of the pandemic his government followed advice from the IMF, World Bank and financial institutions.
Omicron cases are rising. “We’re seeing huge numbers of people who thought they were safe because they are double-vaxxed. But we can still pass it along and some people can still get very sick.” Trudeau encouraged booster shots for everyone, highlighting the safety of frontline health-care workers.
COVID case statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canad show the highest number of cases among young adults in their 20s, but also a significant number among children under the age of 12.
Trudeau emphasized not travelling during the holiday season. “As much as it sucks, we can’t have the Christmas we hoped that we can,” he said, encouraging people to not take risk with exposure to COVID transmission this holiday season, but rather to “see loved ones carefully” and gather in small numbers.
“It’s the safe thing, and the right thing to do,” to not travel this Christmas, noting that some of the folks listening would normally travel south in winter.
Earlier this week, Trudeau said he would be spending Christmas with his family “at the cottage” and not travelling.
This evening Trudeau, who turns 50 years of age this Christmas, told his audience that he is getting his booster shot “in the coming days” and that he “very excited about it”.
Trudeau tipped a mention of concerns about the rising cost of living. “But one of the best things to do is end the pandemic,” he said, indicating that people want careers of the future, that there will be work on systemic discrimination and Indigenous issues. Supporting elders was also included in the future vision, and also detailed the importance of child care as foundation for women and families to gain better financial security.
Trudeau illustrated a parallel of COVID to World War II, saying that ” World War II was a pivotal time where the reconstruction afterwards set the bases and foundation for an incredible unmatched period of prosperity around the world”.
“If we reflect right and we learn the lessons properly, and we are continuing to be there for each other, and make those right investments in improving our society and economy, we can set the path not just for Canada but for the world for the coming decades,” Trudeau outlined. The right response “will transform the country for generations to come”.
As was mentioned in yesterday’s federal government Economic Fiscal Update, Trudeau said jobs have come back and surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
“We’ll get through this pandemic better than most,” Trudeau said this evening about Canada, given this country’s approach to handling the pandemic.
Investments “brought jobs back faster”, though he said that he knows many Canadians are “still struggling” with the high cost of living and inflation.
The Laurier Club:
The Laurier Club has a national membership.
Liberals may join the Laurier Club by contributing at least $1,600 annually (or $133.34/monthly). People under age 35 can become members for $66.67 monthly ($800 annually).
Possible win for seniors who lost GIS for taking CERB (December 14, 2021)
Trudeau meets with Premier Horgan after visiting flood-damaged agricultural area (November 26, 2021)