tv Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Holds News Conference CSPAN February 11, 2022 7:50pm-8:30pm EST
supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to him democracy. >> a senate subcommittee investigates ways to recruit and retain health care workers. watch tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, online at c-span.org, or c-span now, our video app. >> earlier today, canadian prime minister justin trudeau held a news conference to address the trucker blockades along the u.s.-canada border. he went on to discuss the rising tensions between russia and ukraine. this is about 40 minutes.
>> good afternoon, everyone. i am here today to talk about the illegal blockades in ottawa and at our borders in windsor and emerson. i would also like to talk about the situation in the ukraine and about my meeting this morning with president biden and other allies. >> -- hurting canadians whether in ottawa, windsor or emerson. they are endangering jobs, threats to our economy and public safety. the blockades are hurting small businesses and neighborhoods. at the border, they are impacting trade, supply chains, and manufacturing. the people these blockades are hurting our everyday families. ottawa assembly workers, farmers, truckers and blue-collar canadians.
this morning, i spoke with david cassidy who told me how badly this is hurting workers in southern ontario. we both agreed that blockades are unacceptable, and that they have to end for the good of all canadians. >> yesterday, i convened the incident cooperation group with premiers and other officials to . we are going to try to work with the provinces and territories and cities to put an end to the blockades. i have also spoken with the other party leaders and i emphasized the fact that all leaders and all parties must denounce these illegal acts. >> i met yesterday with mayor drew duggins to offer the full and continued support of the federal government.
ministers are in regular contact with their counterparts. ontario's announcement this morning is responsible and necessary. we will continue working alongside all partners to get the situation under control. this morning, i had a direct call with president biden to talk about our shared challenges at the border. i updated him on the situation, particularly in windsor. we discussed the american and indeed the global influences on the protest. we talked about the u.s.-based flooding of the 911 phone lines in ottawa, presence of u.s. citizens in the blockades, and the impact of foreign money to fund this illegal activity. resident biden and i both agreed that for the security of the people and the economy, these blockades cannot continue.
so make no mistake, the border cannot and will not remain closed. i want to remind everyone that politicians don't direct police in a democratic society but i can assure you the rcmp is working with local police departments to enforce the law. everything is on the table because this unlawful activity has to end and it will end. of course, i cannot say too much more now as to exactly when or how this ends because unfortunately we are concerned about violence, so we are taking every precaution to keep people safe. but the absolute safest way for this to end is for everyone to return to your communities now. if you are still participating in illegal blockades, you are hurting your neighbors.
it's time to go home, especially if you have kids with you. >> over the past weeks, we have observed that funding has been supplied to support the blockades from abroad. it's important to understand this money should not be supporting unlawful activities. >> laws, regulation and practices that ensure fund cannot be used for illegal activity, and these blockades are illegal. canadian banks are monitoring financial activity very closely and taking action as necessary. i want to make something very clear. the illegal blockades seeking to take our neighborhoods and our economy hostage and the
collective covid fatigue we are facing are two very separate things. if you join the protest because you are tired of covid, you need to understand that you are breaking laws. the consequences are becoming more and more severe. you don't want to end up losing your license, end up with a criminal record which will impact your job, your livelihood, even your ability to travel internationally including to the u.s. we've heard your frustration with covid, with the measures that are there to keep people safe. we heard you. it's time to go home now. and to the people who are tired of this pandemic, that is all canadians, i want you to be able to get back to the things
that you love. i hear you, all of you. parliamentarians hear it in their communities. we all hear it from friends and family, from people like lori from here in ontario who wrote to me to say she disagrees with the bad behavior of the block aders, but she's also tired of the restrictions. or helen in toronto who's worried about what restrictions are doing to children's mental health. i understand. we don't want these measures to last longer than they should and we never did. but the truth is because of all of our efforts, we've saved more lives in canada than in many other countries. we've helped people like samuel from courtney, bc, who wrote to tell me that as a health care worker our measures are keeping him safe. >> it's because we work together
and we are vaccinated that we've recovered more than 1 million jobs. we ask people to get vaccinated precisely because we wanted to avoid isolation and lockdowns. looking forward, we will work together with public health officials and we will follow the best scientific advice to keep people safe and protect healthcare workers. consider and reconsider what's
possible and what's best to protect canadians. i have multiple meetings every week to talk about what the next steps are this morning for example, i spoke with them about the plan to adjust travel measures under federal jurisdiction. as canadians, it is important to continue being there for one another. we are fighting a virus, not fighting each other. people are making sacrifices and has been for the past two years. it never the time to hurt our economy and fellow canadians with illegal blockades but especially not now after all , we've sacrificed together and always done to get back to the things we love. i'd like to speak about the situation in ukraine. we are continuing to work closely with president biden and our allies this morning, a virtual summit to discuss our diplomatic efforts, our economic and military efforts. we discussed the importance of finding a peaceful solution and that remains our focus.
we are all concerned russia is continuing to build up presence and looking actively for excuses to act. instead, russia must de-escalate. the west is standing firm together, coordinated and ready to impose severe costs, including sanctions if russia , invades ukraine again. we are strengthening support and presence to nato and we will continue to support ukraine democracy and sovereignty and independentce and more than anything else continue to , support the people of ukraine. it's an evolving situation in the bottom line is, we are not seeking confrontation with russia, we are resolved to stand firm with the ukrainian people's
right to determine their own future. thank you. >> we will begin 20 minutes of questions starting with ten minutes from the room, followed by ten minutes by phone. >> first question. >> hello canadian press, it's , been two weeks and only now is the government taking concrete stops. up until now your government , simply said he will continue to provide resources when asked. why has it taken two weeks, 15 days for any government anywhere , to do something directly to adjust this crisis now? >> from the beginning we have , been supporting the ottawa
police force and province of ontario with any resources they need to keep public order to ensure they move forward on ending these blockades. i think the said when there's citizens of ottawa, and all canadians are eager for it to be done for people to go home. ,the messages been cleared, people have been heard. in this country, jurisdictions work together to ensure the right outcomes for citizens every step of the way, the federal government has been there with resources and support, guidance and engagement that is getting us through this one step at a time. >> you say all options on the table, does this mean the army is a possibility? at what moment in the situation might be necessary to call them in? we know in this kind of
demonstration, we know the best solution to unlawful blockades is that people decide for themselves they've heard they've -- they have been heard, they have expressed their frustrations. it is now time to go home. that is the message we spent sending for some time but now there will be real consequences with respect to their licenses and futures, their jobs. if there arrested, illegal blockades and these are the people we hope will go home. otherwise there will be an , increasingly robust police intervention and we will respond to the situation any a proportional way. but the police must change the means they need step-by-step to
intervene, but we have clearly said this blockade in the city about what, this blockade of our economy that is hurting canadians countrywide, canadians who have been impacted by these blockades, this conflict must and. >> i know you don't like to talk about your feathers -- father cycle legacy but he faced them by decisions and 1970 about the use of canadian forces civilian law enforcement capacity, you said everything is on the table, could you explain to what extent military is being considered? how much did your father's experience back then color your on reaction to this and the decision you've made? >> as i've said many times, my values are deeply informed by the way i've been brought up, not just by my father but canadians. i think that's what every politician brings to bear, the core values they stand for but every situation is different.
what we are seeing right now is people who are frustrated deeply by this unprecedented global pandemic, that has been hitting canadians so hard over these past two years, leaving people tired and frustrated, angry, wanting it to be done. unfortunately we know this pandemic doesn't and --end because we cross our arms and , decide that it's over. the pandemic will and by following science, supporting each other and being there for each other as canadians have done throughout the past two years. as a government, we made the promise to have people's backs every step of the way and that means doing the things that keep people safe and supportive and get our economy to come roaring back as quickly as possible for
everyone. not i these blockades that are , not helping the pandemic end any sooner and are hurting our supply chain and hurting families across the country, endangering our recovery both from the health crisis and the economic crisis are so wrong and that's why we are going to continue to use the tools we have as a society to ensure the blockades end and that starts with local police forces having the support of orders of government, national police resources and that is how we are getting through this. >> there is a plan, his plan is
sufficient? the governor of michigan is asking for federal help. the federal government has already deployed help, they are present on the ground with local and provincial police. >> we are directly engaged as a federal government in resolving the problem. we are ready to work with our partners in other jurisdictions to make sure things and quickly. --end quickly. support and resources from others outstanding request that has been felt. is that supposed to provide comfort to businesses that have been closed for week and
autoworkers laid off because the bridge is closed? >> we have provided hundreds of police officers to jurisdictions, including ottawa. the request for 1600 officers was carefully examined by the opp and experts within the leadership to look at what exactly the plan is and what exactly is needed and what is needed is being provided to be able to move through this in a peaceful and responsible way. but the best way to resolve this , to stop hurting canadian citizens, hard-working canadians across the country is for the people in the protests to understand that they have been heard but it is time to go home. time to bring your kids home from the protest, it's now an illegal protest with consequences on them and their families. it will be significant if they
choose to continue with this illegal activity. >> good afternoon. are you saying you will not deploy the army? >> i've always been extremely clear we never want to deploy , the army against canadian citizens and civilians. we have to avoid this at any price. this would be a solution in extreme, our last recourse. we have to be ready for anything all but before going forward with that kind of idea and calling in the army there are so , many other steps we can have recourse to, we are not there yet, far from it.
using military forces against civilian populations in canada or any other democracy is something to avoid having to do at all costs. that's why the solution right now is focused on police force s enforcing the law that exists, protecting public order in the way that they are trained to do in a predictable progressive approach that doesn't skip any steps, that works to conclude the situation peacefully. that's why right now it's become a lot more impactful and expensive for people in the
protests because they are tired of covid, to continue to be part of these illegal protests. the consequences on their lives for choosing to continue to endanger the lives and livelihoods of other canadians, to continue to violate our laws are going to be more and more extensive and therefore we are very hopeful that people will choose to leave the protest peacefully now that they've been heard. there are further steps for law enforcement to take as it happens or not but we are a long , way from ever having to call in the military. although of course we have to be , ready for any eventuality but it's not something we are seriously contemplating at this time. reporter: prime minister, i'm
wondering if you have any regrets, do you think this help or anchor them in felt -- angers them? and causes them to really dig in? p.m. trudeau: i think there's a lot of canadians scratching their heads at the fact that protesters who purport to speak for truckers actually didn't represent 90% of truckers who are vaccinated. where they certainly struck a chord with a lot of canadians as people are tired of covid and tired of the restrictions but at the same time as a government, , who made the promise to canadians to have their backs every step of the way for as long as it takes. part of having people's backs is making sure the public health measures we bring in and for
-- the supports for canadians, the supports for provinces the bring in restrictions these are , the things that get us through the pandemic and the things that save lives and we are going to continue to follow the science , do what is necessary to keep canadian safe every step of the way because frankly, canadians stepped up from 90% of canadians got vaccinated. people have been there for each other, they are united wanting to be there for each other and united in being sick and tired of the pandemic. those two things can be true and are true. our responsibility to continue to be there for them every step of the way. to continue to be there for them every step of the way. >> prime minister, how would you feel about the fact that the eyes of the world are on you in a situation that hasn't changed in two weeks?
well, i talked to president biden this morning the fact that the protests in canada are related to a reality around the world where people are frustrated not only with the pandemic but with restrictions in government, we should protect them and unfortunately what we are seeing are linked notably with americans but across the world trying to undermine people's trust in their institutions and their democracies and their fellow citizens. we must continue to be present, protect fellow citizens. at the beginning of the
pandemic, i made a promise to canadians, i said we would be there for them and get them what they needed when they needed it and we will continue to be there for them. >> the phone for ten minutes. one question, one follow-up we will now go to telephone for other in a follow. >> thank you for the questions over the phone, press star one on the keypad. >> for the questions, plus press star. >> olivia from cbc news. go ahead. >> provinces are looking back on the task force in the government has been moving testing around travel, are you concerned protesters will clean victory for these changes embolden them
further? >> different provinces are taking decisions they feel appropriate to them on vaccine mandates and restrictions they have in their jurisdictions. as you know the federal government has responsibly over the borders, international travel federal public service. we had extensive meetings today on next steps we look forward to taking and we'll make announcements regarding our poor posture next week. >> are you concerned any announcement, protesters embolden them further? >> i think it's extremely important to emphasize all decisions we take will be based in science and will be focused on canadians getting their lives back to normal. i emphasize the measures we have
been talking about for a long time, the measures the canadian government brought in our needing to be vaccinated get on a plane or train or needed to be vaccinated in the federal public service are not among things we are considering changing. we continue to look at the postures to ensure people get back to the things they love is the way because to receive. >> thank you. the next question, go ahead. >> thank you for taking our questions. foreign funding. >> we lost you.
[inaudible] >> you were cutting in-and-out a little bit, can you repeat the end of your question? >> did it take so long, was this thing only coordinated in all of your responses because of the border blockages -- [inaudible] >> obviously the concerns we are facing on the border significant. we are seeing six plants having to shut down the past days because of lack of parts flowing across the bridge in windsor. we are seeing supply chains disrupted out west because of the border crossing in ontario because of the wind tossing. these are things we are absolutely taking extremely seriously but we have been taking the situation seriously from the very beginning and working with partners, municipal and federal to put an end to
these peacefully and responsibly, that is the job of police officers and forces, the responsibility of politicians is to ensure the police force has the tools and resources they need and that's what we have been doing. we do not direct local police jurisdictions even when proximity to an international border crossing. we all work together and regardless of conversations going on between jurisdictions, i can assure you on the ground the cohesion and alignment with different police forces, federal and municipal has been exemplary. >> what did president biden tell you about the u.s. -- participation in the canadian protest?
how does this cut off foreign funding? >> president biden expressed concern for the well-being of canadians and for jobs and economic ties that flow back and forth between our border every day. he expressed concern not just for the impacts right now but the indication that there is international support from the united states and elsewhere around the hall from these protests. we seen attacks for example in the ottawa 911 system came from the united states, we see almost half of the funding in certain portals flowing to barricade us here in canada coming from the united states. we see mobilization of some of the challenging political elements in canada and the united states around support for
the blockades hurting citizens. we will continue to work together as we have spent on resolving issue, strengthening our institutions and democratic principles. >> look back to marika russians. >> press are one on the keypad. next question, go ahead. >> good afternoon, can you provide details about a percentage of the federal government believes is coming from the u.s. and what percentage of the crowd -- [inaudible] >> those are not details i have in front of me, i've heard certain platforms the number of u.s. donations are approaching
50% we can make sure we ensure that information is shared with you on that. in terms of americans are protest, i can assure you are police services are monitoring carefully and watching and coordinating with partner agencies around the world. >> thank you. the u.s. has support the federal government, has the federal government taken that support and what specifically is it? >> i don't want to get into operational details but i assure you the conversations directly between governor of michigan in our officials the white house haven't heard us of resources and support if necessary and the books in the ground are working out what is necessary and what we use as we move forward. >> thank you.
next question -- go ahead. >> you've made clear last resort still pleading with him to go home, the protesters made it clear they are not leaving, they don't have interest in what you have to say so what's next? was the next part of the federal solution here? >> first of all, i don't accept the contention the city of ottawa has exhausted its tools and resources. the ottawa police force has been given resources from both opp and rcmp. there is efforts around planning and approaches that will move forward in a proportional way but i think it's very clear the
time for the protests to end has come. people there because they are tired of covid restrictions, we understand that everyone is tired of covid restrictions but we need to make sure our laws are followed in this country and our laws will be enforced, that is the role of the ottawa police force and police jurisdictions across the country they will, as premier indicated today, be enforcing stronger and stronger measures that will make it more and more difficult for the protesters in good conscious to say part of illegal protests. >> a follow-up? >> at the top you said enforcement action is off the table because of the risk of violence. people hear that and they are worried, there is concern weapons may be present in areas
from its concert what they would do if police tried to make arrests, you have visibility on that? you have any indication of what elements are in the crowd and what potential for violence actually is? >> i can assure you i have been briefed regularly by both intelligence agencies and police agencies on risk levels civilians including protesters and vulnerable people within the protest, people are there with their kids in these protests and their well-being top of mind for police services as well as the well-being of citizens in and around the protests trying to go on with their daily lives. there's always concern around isolation but the police have a robust framework within which they go step-by-step on making
it more and more difficult for the protests to continue, more and more expensive for people to choose to stay, both financial but also impacting their lives and livelihood. it's time for the protesters to go home time to recognize the protests blockade is illegal the consequences on people choosing to remain will be increasingly challenging the police have the tools to move forward in a step-by-step approach that will bring back order for the city of ottawa and border crossings. >> thank you, that and everything.
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force. they discussed their podcast, the climate pond. watch "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern saturday morning on c-span and c-span now, our new mobile app. join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. >> national security advisor jake sullivan mourned a full-scale invasion could -- all americans should you leave ukraine in the next 24 to 48 hours. he spoke at the white house breathing for about 30 minutes. -- briefing for about 30 minutes. good afternoon. thank you, everybody for giving me the opportunity to be here. i would like to make a few comments on the situation in russia and ukraine. then, i will be happy to take your questions. then, i will be happy to take your questions. we continue to see signs of russian escalation including new forces