Living with COVID: A CBC News Virtual Town Hall
And Counting now gone now, well danger, of the virus, isn't gone we're learning how to live with it Canada. Is getting ready for a very different kind of summer as we figure out how to get back to work and life safely. Tonight. We want to talk about the path forward your issues, your questions, your concerns as, Canada starts to reopen we'll put them to health experts and your, public, officials including, Finance, Minister, Bill Morneau. Right. Now I'm mixed with a whole bunch of terror and a desire for optimism. Worrying. About all, of my employees and, my bills. Got. So many plans but, I have to cancel everything, I was. Used to going to see my mom once or twice for me I. Don't. Think things are gonna go back to normal, I got. Some optimism, a lot. Of catching up to do, digitally. People are forming, a sense of community, just. Need to be home, and stay safe and keep hoping, so everything, gets better I look, forward to the. New normal where there is. This, is a CBC, News special virtual. Town hall living. With köppen. We. Are here on CBC, News Network CBC, Radio 1 and we're also streaming around the world online and, on CBC, Jam over the next couple of hours I'll bring, your questions and issues to Lear's at all levels of government and of course we'll talk to you Canadians, from every, part of the country and. I'll be listening to you at home bringing, in your reaction, to what you're hearing on the show when your questions, this, is a live town hall so we want you to have your say you can tweet, me and rosemary email, us at Cova dot cbc.ca, or. You can leave a note on our Facebook live stream on the CBC, news page I'll be watching those throughout the evening a, town. Hall unlike any other but really we are living in a time like any other and. In a few minutes we're going to start of course hearing, from you Canadians, who are trying to navigate your way through this health crisis, but also an, economic, one for many of you and I'll put some of your questions to the country's Minister of Finance but first let's take a look at the avalanche. Of government, funding that, has been pumped, into the economy to, try and keep Canada, and Canadians, going. Eighty. Two billion dollars, more than 77, million dollars, a hundred million, dollars want you to know that we'll, be there to help you the. Announcement, started, in March millions. And billions, of, dollars at a time money, first to help workers suddenly, out of a job and businesses. Not allowed to open the Canada Emergency, Response benefit. Will, provide, $2,000. A month were facilitating. A wage subsidy up, to seventy-five percent then. Came nine billion, dollars, to help post-secondary. Students, two and a half billion, for, seniors, and money for farmers one hundred and twenty five million dollar, national.
AG Recovery. Initiative. All of it adding up to a staggering, total, more than a hundred and fifty, billion dollars, and Counting. So. The question of course are these measures, helping, Canadians, is this enough Nym calhfa's was laid off from her job as a hotel, attendant, and she joins me now from Surrey British Columbia good, to CNM. Hi. Rosemarie thanks, for having me so, you were laid off not surprisingly, as hotels and the tourism sector closed, down what have you what. Have you done to help yourself and how has the government helped you. The. Government. Helped. Us with CR, beat a, $2,000. Benefit. That they're giving us but aside from that there's, not much available, for for. The workers, and it's pretty disappointing. But, we're hoping, in the long run or a long term the government, will figure out something, for the, workers especially, in my industry we are the most, hardly. Hit, because we. We. We. Rely, on tourism or, for, our, business. And for our work, and. Seeing. How things right now it's gonna, be a while before, people. Want to, trouble or stay in hotels well. And I think your. Issue is more complicated because the $2,000. Is not just helping you it's also helping your daughter who is in the Philippines is that right, yes. So aside, from myself. I'm. Helping, a family in Philippines, and I'm sending them. Money mostly, every month and. Believing. Expenses. In Vancouver, alone is very expensive, from. $2,000. My rent is almost fifteen hundred five, hundred what's. Left for food in and. Groceries. And that's that's. Nothing. And I am using, other. Resources, like credit card to stay afloat. And how. Long do you think you can go, on like that and. That's. Not. Long like, after a couple, of months and I'm not just speaking for, myself and, speaking, for for. My co-workers, the hotel industry and I'm sure a lot of us not just hospitality. Industry is hit hard with the. Majority, of workers. Are. Struggling. And it's very devastating, for, for. Everyone, to navigate in this. Hard. Times, sure. I'm, gonna talk to the finance minister in a moment if you had anything, that you wanted to ask him what would you say to him. I, like. To govern man to think of of, helping, workers. In. The, long term because right now, it's. It's fine but after. Maybe, a, month, or two. Even. Right now we're not ok it's where. We lose half of our wages. And that's very hard but we can manage for short term long, term we. Need the government to think about, how, how, are we gonna. Survive. As an, industry, as I've said like where we live in tourism and it's gonna be a while before it's, gonna come back who knows if we're going to come back this year we're, thinking, more likely it's gonna take us 18, to 24 months to recover and, losing. Our job it's, we. Or we also lose our health benefits, and. Our. Right. To return to work is, Joe. Pardy as well so we're, not just looking at, financially. But we are looking with a big picture and our future, and it's very sad because a lot of us we have put 20 30 40 years of our lives doing, this job and and, it's. It's, so. Devastating. That we. Don't know what the future holds and no. One can answer it for that right now we're just waiting for for. What's, available to, us and the. $2,000. I'm not speaking just for myself I'm sure it's, not it's not enough okay Nym, calvess, thank you so much I'll put some of that to the finance minister I wish, you good health and, and, good luck there thanks for speaking with us thank you very much for having me okay, no kina calve as she's unemployed right now in Surrey British Columbia and, on that note let, me bring in the Finance Minister Bill Morneau who's, been leading, so much of this, really. Bridge, financing, support. It's not really. You know it's it's nothing more than that right now we're just trying to get past this so let's talk about what what NIM has said there the. CRB, obviously. Not, as much as she was getting in her job but, she also is wondering what's going to happen in the future so should, we expect that, benefit. To be extended. I, think. You, know the place to start is just to, acknowledge that, what NIMH is talking, about that's what we were thinking about is we started, down the path and, how, are we gonna actually help Canadians, through such. An incredibly, difficult time whether it's for her and her daughter or whether it's for Canadians, in so. Many different parts of the country in so many different sectors so it's exactly, what we were thinking about and we, were really very much thinking about bridging.
People Through a difficult, time I think, she's correct. And saying that for some it's gonna be a longer difficult, time so we're we're, thinking about multiple, ways we can help so the benefits, she's on the Emergency Response benefit. I mean, it's helping millions of Canadians, and more than seven and a half million Canadians, are on this benefit which tells you the scale of the challenge but, also the scale of the support the, longer-term, we're, trying to make sure that. We support, businesses. That are employing, people to get through this time whether there are small. Businesses, or large businesses, so, that people like NIMH will, have a job when this when this comes through this. Sector is one that is going to be affected. Differently, and probably longer than other sectors because, it's the hotel industry tourism, we don't expect that to bounce back very quickly so, could you look at perhaps the, CRB, being used targeted, to industries, if needed is that something you would consider like how would you gauge whether it needs to be extended I guess is what I'm asking now. Is how do we, encourage. Businesses. To keep their workers, attached to them so that's why the Prime Minister announced last week that we're looking at that wage, subsidy, that keeps people attached to their business. Extending. That and and think about how we can do that in a way that supports jobs. The. The, emergency, response benefit, and the, employment insurance system, we need to think about how those work together it's it's going, to be complicated for sure and we're we're, working through that now what. We recognize, though is it the best, we can do is to support people, now and to, enable, businesses, to keep. Having. Optimism, and having opportunities, down the road so, that if NIM doesn't, have a role in the business that she's in right now there, might be another, role, that she might be able to get because we've helped so many businesses, to bridge through this time so so, there will most certainly be businesses. That are hurt. More, than others because of the the challenge that we're facing and, we're trying to support them we're trying to give them the bridge we, know for some it will need to be longer okay so I'm. Just trying to read, through and understand what you're saying it sounds like the CRB, could, become, something, else the different kind of support but, the government's preference would be for most, people to be put on a wage subsidy is that a fair way to I. Think what we're trying to do is to make sure all, of these investments and they're as as, you mentioned. In the outset, they're enormous. Direct. Investments, in people that, those investments, allow us have a stronger economy coming, out and that will be what will create jobs so, the the Emergency Response benefit, that's a key part of the bridge we're, gonna need to think about how we move to what we hope will be the new normal as we, get to transition, back to a more. Hopeful. Time you've, already or the Prime Minister has already said the wage subsidy will be extended, another month there supposed to be some details, this week how. Will it be extended, it will just will it mean that more companies can apply will it be a longer period of time are, you looking at months, now of offering, the wage subsidy anything, you can tell me their tales will be announced they won't be announced here tonight, so. I will tell you that you know one of the things that we've been working on every, day over. The last few weeks is thinking about what are what are the next steps how do we make sure that we were, dealing with this on an emergency basis but we also need to have a mid-term. How. Are we going to move forward so we'll we'll have some more details pretty, clear in. The next while. But. I will tell you the intent the intent is, for people. To be able to stay attached to their employer to have optimism, that these businesses, will continue to be successful, the, wage subsidy is a big support, and obviously, the financing, we've provided for business is also important, one, of the things the government did, along with the provinces, come to an agreement that essential, workers pay could be topped up the provinces, get to decide who those workers are but but define it the federal government put money on the table do, you think that longer term there, is a role for the federal government, in making sure that.
Wage. Inequities, like, the ones we are but, seeing in such a drastic, way right now are are, better protected is, there a role that you would see in the future for the federal government in in, determining that or in helping that so, this is this is a nature of many questions that are coming my way a, lot of people are saying should, we deal with systemic, long-term, issues and of. Course there, will be time for those discussions right now we're very focused on the on the emergency, supports, to get people through this I think, that decision. We took to move, money from the federal government to the provinces, for low-income essential, workers we, looked at the challenges. In the long-term care sector and realized that we needed to find a way to be supportive, so I directly. Went to the the finance ministers across the country and said we want to figure out a way that. Those low-income you, know the real heroes that are working in some places right now have. The, the kind of support they need now, there will be a longer-term question, we'll need to address that we'll need to address that cooperatively. Yes with the provinces, but but it will come and it will come soon okay, we're, gonna leave it there just for a moment Minister Morneau is going to stay around for a little bit longer he'll be back in a few minutes to take some more questions for. Now though let's go to someone. Else who's got a question for, Minister, Morneau Oh. Who. Says that the government measures, may not in fact be enough, to save his bar Christopher Hudspeth owns Pegasus. On Church in Toronto's, LGBTQ. Neighborhood he posted a letter about his situation on social media and he did address it to several political leaders including, Ontario's. Premier the, mayor of Toronto and indeed the finance minister here's a bit of what that letter says, he. Writes I sit here today shaking, my head not knowing where to turn next can someone help is there help for small business, can Pegasus, survive or do we like several already on Church Street just, throw in the towel and give, up the fight and. Christopher. Hudspeth joins us now from his bar in Toronto's, Village good to see you Christopher. Thank. You for having me tonight rosemary, so, what is what is the main concern there with your bar Pegasus, have you been able to tap, into any small business loans or anything that has been put on the table where how, are you doing. Sure. We tapped. Into the $40,000, loan that the, federal. Government has. Extended. We. Also, have, applied. For the wage, subsidy, which, is, helping pay some of my employees. But. Currently. My landlord, is unwilling, to take, the ççra, program, and. So. That leaves us. You. Know with the entire rent, bill which is extremely, high in downtown. Toronto, can, you give me a sense of how big it is because I'm guessing that the 40 grand doesn't really come close to covering it. We're. Talking tens of thousands, and you. Know at Twitter. To. Give some perspective it's. Ten times what my house. Payment. Is okay. Yeah that gives me a lot, of perspective particularly. Given houses, in Toronto are expensive, too so you, you you've got a little bit of help but you're, not making any money I mean what-what would help you right now or how do you plan, to survive, if you do. Well. I mean our projections, show that we can go a few months but you. Know we're already seeing you. Know businesses on the street that, are closing, because. They can't pay the rent and if, this area goes down you, know my business goes down you know this area is built upon a destination. And it. Doesn't work otherwise, and. So. You would walk, away from your business how, would you how would you do that I I. Don't know I mean it's. What, keeps me awake at night you. Know not, having. Help. From, the landlord or being, able to tap into the ççra, program, means. That you know we're we're, paying. The entire bill for rent, and having. Zero access, to be able to use the space you, were mandated closed, at this point and we'll be open in the third way probably. So. The finance minister sitting here and I can ask him a question for you if you wanted to say something to him what would it be Christopher. Well. If our landlords, aren't willing to accept the ccr, a program, will, the, federal, government and the provinces, give us access directly, so that at least we can pay half, the rent with, the 50% the, government's, already set aside for this okay. Christopher, I'll try and get that an answer for you thank you very much take care of yourself that's Christopher Hudspeth the, owner of a plan called Pegasus, on Church and that's in downtown Toronto, thanks mr. Furr and let's.
Go Back to the Finance Minister Bill Morneau for, response to that so this is I have to say something I have heard a lot about over, the past number of weeks the, commercial rent program, either, landlords, don't want to do it or. The, the conditions are just too hard for for the people, that are renting it frankly. Doesn't seem to be working are, you gonna make adjustments, to the program and what would you say to Christopher. Well. I have a lot to say to Christopher because I don't know if you know this but he's actually in the area I represent yeah so it turns out that I've probably met Christopher yeah we might have done that on purpose. So. Let me start with the the rent program, first. I just. Want to make sure that I go, on the record to say to all the landlords, out there this, is a program, intended to, protect. Landlords. And to. Help, tenants and so for the landlords, out there we think that they, should be moving forward to make use of this program they're getting guarantee. Of 75%, now. I will, say that it's it is early days all the details, for this program have not even been fully announced, they're gonna be announced in the coming days I know, how, anxious. Christopher, must be because it is it is I'm, sure gnawing at him every moment of every day but, we, are gonna see more and more businesses, sign up for this I've seen large numbers already now, what, are we gonna try and do we're gonna try and think about all of our programs making sure they're working Christopher's, been, able to take that small business loan that $40,000. Loan. $10,000. Over that's forgivable he's been able to apply for the wage subsidy, for his, employees, which is a big cost so, we're trying to provide broad-based. Support for, small businesses like his. We will continue to look at this program I have been advocating. For the provinces, to also step up it's a provincial, jurisdiction, that we've stepped in because we're trying to find a way to solve for this okay but it sounds. Like Christopher is gonna lose his business because his landlords not interested, in taking part in the program there's really no incentive for the landlord to take part in the program is there there's, a huge, incentive for the what what if they don't fit what, you saw in the newspaper this morning is numbers, like. Landlords. Getting 15% of the payment last month so what, the landlord gets by taking, this is they get 75%. Of, the. Rent guaranteed, and what that means is that the for, the for the tenant like Christopher he pays 25%, the. Landlord, is giving, a 25%, off but. 50% is coming through the federal government shared with the province yes so so, there's a big incentive I'm encouraging, landlords, to do this I do think, Rosie, there's a lot of challenges obviously with every program we put it out because we're trying to get them out quickly to solve for the biggest number of people and as. We, look at them we are making adjustments, we're adjustments, can be can, be made a good, example is that that business account yeah six, hundred thousand, businesses have applied and gotten the money but, we're still looking at way I. Get that you think that's an incentive for landlords but I would, say that landlords, could say to their tenants sorry, go, into debt find, a solution we're not willing to play ball here and that, is largely what I'm hearing right now from people so I guess. Other. Than you appealing, to them to do it I'm wondering what else you can do I mean Christopher's, idea, was not a terrible one why not just take the 50% that you're already handing over and just give it right to the people that, are renting the properties I know. People I get a lot of great, ideas every, day and that's one of the things we're trying to take in that one's actually particularly. Difficult for us to execute on because we actually aren't. Responsible, for the landlord tenant situation, in the provinces, so it's not actually a federal jurisdiction.
Whereas. The mortgage system is a federal, jurisdiction, so that's that's, the reason we came up with this idea the way we did what, I can tell you more broadly is we're, looking at every program we're, trying to find ways to to. Get. Capital, to people like Christopher so loans, that can bridge them through this time I know, it's gonna be challenging and the business that he's in in a in a bar restaurant, I'm sure, he's worried about when he's gonna be able to open up we're worried too but, I think that we've we've provided, support. In in multiple ways that are going to help a very, large number of businesses. But, but you recognize, that are there are some cracks in programs, and this seems to be one of them there, there are absolutely. Challenges, that we're trying to deal with every single day and we don't have. Answers to every one of them the next day but we're trying to fix them as we go along and we won't be able to fix everything we will not be able to get everything perfect but again. 600,000. Businesses, have got that small business loan we're seeing thousands. Upon thousands, of landlords. Signing up for this this. This, rent approach. So we. Will keep working on it we will think about ways that we can improve it make it more accessible because. That's what we're trying to do what with all of our programs yeah okay I actually have another question from a viewer on video here about that loan it comes from Terri Lynn and. This, is what she has to say hi. Guys my name is Trisha Stella and I'm the proud owner and operator of ulla, pets I here in Mount Bromo England, my. Business has been running for five years but recently has had to shut its doors due to the global pandemic, cope in nineteen my. Staff members and myself are also on the $500. A week program. My. Landlord, is working with us with the relief program from the government for rental. Their. Government. Is also offering, small business, loans that need to be repaid. Unfortunately. That's the part that hurts is the repayment part for small businesses, not, all small businesses, are able to do that is, there, any way the government, instead of offering small loans are, able to offer us grants, to get us going again. Okay. And that's Trisha there at her dog spa, so. There. Again a recognition, that there that she's used alone she's she's happy for it but. She's very worried, about having to pay it back later is, that is that a set in stone policy, at this stage too that it will only be ten thousand dollars forgivable, will you commit, to re-examining, the well, what we've done is we've taken a look at the credit, that we're supporting businesses. With and we've we've made it the, least expensive, for the smallest of businesses, so so. For that, small business, which, I appreciate, is going through a tough time and a lot of the programs are clearly working they. Can get a $40,000, loan as you know and they can get 25 percent forgivable, and that, loan is is interest, free so it's interest free for the next couple of years that is a very, very good set of terms to try and help through for. The bigger businesses they're getting access. To more capital because, they need more but they're on more commercial, terms and for the largest of businesses, it's going to be more expensive that's the way it should be but, we want to make sure that we are we, are treating. People. And businesses, fairly, so so, we think that what we've come up with is an approach that is an appropriate size of the grant we're, always looking, at whether actually, the loan can be applied to a broader range of businesses because we're trying to make sure that we hit them as I, said it's hit six hundred thousand. For. Now what we think is appropriate is the emergency, response benefit, that two thousand dollars a month that that, the people in that store and that and that organization are taking the, small business loan I'm glad to hear that the rent program is working for her and her landlord and and. Will continue looking at this because this is dynamic okay a couple more questions before I let you go you've. Told Canadians, time and again as has a prime minister that we're in a good position to take on debt and we're certainly we're certainly doing that now our. Debt is probably nearing, trillion, dollars at this point how does that play out though and I know what your answers gonna be it's we're just trying to get through this period of time but the reality is at some point the government will have to start finding, sources of revenue and that will happen either by taxing, people or cutting things have, you had a moment, think about what that will be because Canadians, I think deserve to know what's coming down the track after we get through this well.
More Than a moment I mean obviously this is consuming, many, of us as we think about not only what we're doing but but what what the challenges, will be after I think, the way I've thought about this from day one is by supporting people and by, supporting businesses, we preserve, the, strength of our economy coming, out of this and so we, had a really great fiscal position going into this. We're making significant. Investments in people and businesses, to bridge us through this so, the best way we can come out of this afterwards is if we have a strong economy if, we can actually afford if, we can grow the economy so, that we can actually deal with the. Challenge. That we're gonna face in getting, to a restart, that, will be the, most important thing right when we're not thinking about raising taxes, what we're thinking about is preserving, our, economy, for, the future making, sure that we can actually get back to a vibrant, place, what are you saying that we can just grow our way out of this, this massive, deficit, and is that is that what this well. I think that. What we're looking for what what I'm saying right now is the most important, thing we can do is to preserve, and and, hopefully enhance our, position for afterwards, and so comparatively, if we, if we hadn't made these sorts of investments in people and businesses, we would be in a much more difficult situation that's, the starting point that we want afterwards, and yes we will face tough choices afterwards, nobody is saying that, this is an easy thing we're going through no one is saying that we're not we're. Not making investments, that are gonna that they we're gonna have to face up to but the best, way we can face up to that is by having that resilient. Economy, afterwards, by getting ourselves back to work and, I have a huge amount of confidence in Canadians. In our education. System that we have our ability to be resilient and, if, we can preserve that sort of business sector, we, will be in a position to face up to these challenges afterwards okay one more question if you don't mind there, has been as you know so much talk about long-term care centers, in this country it is really the the the tragedy, of this pandemic, is. This, a place where, the government will, see future health transfers, we know that the provinces have struggled, taking on more and more of the spending for health, care since the 90s and some of that has meant that they have sort. Of outsourced, to care into, private homes for long-term care centers, or they've not put enough into, those places it's, quite apparent now that that needs to change is the federal government prepared to in some capacity. Think, about at, least think about reinvesting, some new. Money into that part of our health care system. Well. I guess let me start just by acknowledging the, question I mean this is of the things that all of us know. Is when we open up our newspapers, receive the TV this is this is just a huge, and growing problem, any of us who know people in. Old age care centers people who are there right now are, feeling so anxious we. Know there's a problem we, know that we're going to have to get at that problem I will tell you that right now we're very focused on the more immediate, and the reason we put that low-income. Essential. Worker. Fund, to the provinces, is to deal with the immediate to deal with getting through this challenging, time when. It settles down we, are gonna need to sit down together and think about how we reform, the system and I I think there would be premature, for me to tell you that I know how that's going to work out but. It clearly is going to be something that's going to be on all of our minds. And it's a responsibility that we're all gonna need to take seriously, because it's it's clearly a failure in our system and just to come back face up to it just to go back to something you said about not. Raising taxes, just so I can make that really clear to Canadians, so, there would be no increase, to the GST, for instance that's not on the table well. Let me just say that is not what we're thinking about right Hanna we are thinking about, preserving. Our economy, so we can be strong afterwards, and I I know that people will ask questions like are the details of what's going to happen in 2022, well. You, know that would be very presumptuous, of me to tell you that but I can tell you that, we know that we had a strong place, going into this we knew we had a really good fiscal position better than any other g7 country, we, know that preserving. Our economy, to come out of this is going to make us stronger and and, we know that we're gonna need to face up those challenges, and we, we also recognize, that that.
Raising, Taxes, is not what Canadians want us to do so we're gonna need to face up to it we're gonna need to think, about how we deal with that challenge and I'm certainly not asking you to make decisions now I get, that there's lots of unknowns and we're still trying to understand how this is going to go on but if you're not going to raise taxes, and that's not the direction you go in then, obviously spending, has to be tightened in some way. There. Will be challenges Rosie, you and I both know it and the. Best way we can deal with the challenges, is by dealing with what's, immediately facing, the people who were asking questions today, so that they can whether, it's name, she can get a job when this is through or whether it's Chris that he still has is his, establishment. And it's through so that we can pick up where we left off and have a strong economy so, that we can get, back to business and, and support our families that's, the fundamental thing we're trying to achieve here and then, we'll face up with those tough questions together, afterwards. Okay I know you're a very busy man you're probably not sleeping much and I do appreciate you making the time very much it's great to be here and Canadians appreciate you thank you very much let's Finance Minister Bill Morneau. All. Right let's, go over to Duncan now who of course is monitoring, some of your questions and things you might be saying and other questions might have four guests coming up Duncan you know Rosie as you said earlier this is not our normal kind, of townhall. Here in the atrium it is deadly quiet there there's no one here but I'll tell you online there are all kinds of Canadians, who are weighing in sharing, their opinions sharing their concerns about. The, economy when, you talk with NIMH caldez, laid, off a hotel worker there are lots of people expressing, concern, about women in particular I mean we know that women are being adversely impacted. By this in. The retail the food the accommodation, office support workers thought that those sectors have really been hard hit and hitting women in particular and so we're getting lots of comments about that. Also. When you were talking with the Finance Minister Bill Morneau, about. Landlords, and and landlords. Stepping up Michelle, Johnson, on Facebook, weighed, in and said this landlords. Should step, up take the, 75%. Chances. Are you're gonna get zero, if these places go bankrupt. Stay safe, everybody, I, will, say you, know people. Trying to be a keep, a stiff upper lip but, there are people very very worried, right now garrison, Hill sent us a tweet and, said this no, straight, answer from bill but you tried I am, a 25 year veteran in, the Canadian music industry and we are decimated. Projections. Are 18, to 24, months before. We can work many are sole proprietors, so there is no wage subsidy, just, CRB. Help. And certainly, on cross country checkup and last week we were talking about the arts sector and how hard they've been hit, toronto, resident, sent us this tweet right here said imagine, if citizens. Didn't get funding, for daily living expenses. Hashtag be grateful, right now it, could be worse. So, you know some people trying to put. A brave face on, it but. Let's. Check, in we want to see just how folks, you're doing right across the country with the may a long weekend coming up it, kind of marks the unofficial start. Of summer this. Year though of course it will be a lot different, than usual CBC. News has been asking Canadians right across the country what, they're expecting, from the season so first, up Vancouver, where the weather is already, pretty summer-like I. Think. We're going to see, much of what we've seen on all our sunny weekends. Right. Through the Cova 19 crisis people, will be gathering in places like this and, they. Won't be traveling very far but they will be gathering. Honestly. I don't think too much is going to change for a little bit so I'm kind of expecting where we're at now to just kind of be going on for the rest of the summer we hope that they maintain, the. Distancing. And the simple, things and.
Relax. And. Encourage the. Outdoors. That connectivity, honestly. I think people are just getting sick of it and I think it's gonna be a pretty normal summer but I think. The social distancing, thing will still be in place but slowly. Things are starting to open up I kind, of expect that life is pretty much not going to change a whole lot to be honest I, do, think, that we'll probably still, keep veering away from one another on the socks, for, a while but. Otherwise I don't actually see things are gonna change that much oh I'm, hoping that Colby just goes. Away no more Kovac Kovac gone forever that's why I'm hoping I'm, hoping people will figure out how to slow, down stop. Take. A little bit of a gander at the light at the world that's around, them in, a whole new light stay, safe everybody this, is temporary, and we, got this baby keep, it up. Rosi. I can't help but look at those pictures and say my goodness it's so beautiful, and warm there in Vancouver, but. It does give, us a sense of how you know different regions across the country are really shifting. At different paces in terms of back to normal if you will they, sure are and I have to say that last guy is way, more hopeful. Than I am and I some of that should rub off on me yeah it's good it's good to hear Canadians are. Feeling, you know okay about the future of course of, course Rosie we're gonna have lots more from our viewers and listeners across, the country throughout. The evening you, can send us your questions. About reopening. The economy, we've got Calgary, Mayor Naheed Nenshi coming. Up and Toronto, Mayor John Tory so it's got something specific, for them send it along I'll be keeping my eye on our Twitter accounts, or, you can email us colvett, at cbc.ca. Or. Leave a note on our Facebook live stream on the CBC news page I'll be monitoring those throughout, the evening all. Right cool looking, forward to hearing from more Canadians, as we know the prime minister says this his, government's, economic measures, are as you heard there from Bill Morneau really, an attempt, to bridge to better times when, the economy is, ready, to come roaring back well the CBC is Peter Armstrong has a look at a potential recovery and why, that, bounce back may be pretty difficult.
Rosie. I'm on Queen Street the West End of downtown Toronto, and on a normal spring, sunny, day these, sidewalks, would be absolutely, packed these stores would, be full the big question being asked now isn't just when will the stores open but one will consumers, go back out and start, to spend cuz sure you could flip a switch and reopen the stores but convincing, Canadians, to, go back out and start, spending, and meeting a friend for lunch and go into a show on a Friday night well. That's complicated and, remember just how, important, consumer, spending, is to, the broader Canadian, economy, go back to, 2008-2009. The financial, crisis it was consumers. That really, saved the day policymakers. Lowered interest rates and encouraged, us to borrow and spend and we, did in record numbers but in doing so we, took on record, levels of debt, as well and this crisis, has shown just how vulnerable households. And, Canadians, really were with, all that debt we, have nearly, 8 million Canadians, have applied for federal relief and federal aid even. Those haven't lost their jobs or their wages have, been shown just how exposed, they are and you, know will they be more inclined maybe this time to save rather, than go back out and spend, especially, as we know the health crisis, may, linger for some time all, of this matters because, the. Longer it takes for us to go back out and spend, the longer it will take for the economy, to recover the. Longer it will take for these employers, to, rehire, some of those laid, off workers and the longer, that takes the, longer, this crisis, goes and the more it deepens the harder, it is for us to get out of it Rosen. All. Right thanks for that Peter loss to think about there so we're gonna talk to a Canadian who has managed. To actually save, money during the pandemic and even pay. Down some debt, Ron Porteous works for Canada, Post and he joins me from his home outside Ottawa, hi Ron, hi. Rosemary so, you're obviously one, of the lucky, Canadians who still has a job and. Like maybe you've been working from home is that howhow what's happened to you, yeah. I think my last day at work was March. 13th, so I've been working at home ever since then and my, wife as well has been working from home most. Days so, we're, both very fortunate, that we were able to work but doing. It from home yeah, so you're. Right very fortunate, and I feel that way too about still having. A job and and, and not having to worry about that but you did decide to take this time and tackle. Some debt and I and, and I'm just wondering how you managed to do that and and how successfully. Well. I'd love to say we had some great master, plan to do it but it sort of we sort of stumbled into it about. A month ago we, we, looked at our credit card bill and it was about a quarter of what it normally would be and that raised. Some eyebrows and then, we paid it off and looked at our bank account and realized that we were not deficit. Financing, this month that we in fact had a significant.
Amount Of money that we could start, paying down some debts so we sort, of changed, our focus and and we've been working, at doing that ever since and. And, where, has all this money come from. To assess where why you suddenly have more money to pay things. Well. We, we live south of Ottawa so our commute is about 140, kilometers roundtrip every day so a, lot, of it is saving. On on gas and. Just. Just. That spending, that you do when you're not really being conscious of it going, to Tim Hortons and going out to places like that we're, just not in those positions anymore, so we're just not spending that money. So. You were working at home you're still getting a paycheck you've got this new plan to pay down your debt it has anything else in your life changed, because of the fact that you have essentially. Nowhere, really to spend money. Well. I'm, sort, of creeping, slowly towards, retirement and, we'd always been talking about how we needed to learn to live on less money for retirement so, we're. Sort of seeing now this has pushed us to try that exercise, out so, I bought, quicken the other day and I've been putting in all of our bills and everything we're actually starting, to pay, attention to our finances, now which we really. Weren't doing very well before. Who. Would have thought a pandemic would bring that change to your house. Yeah. It was it was a bit of a surprise but, we, have to do what we can I guess. Well. I'm glad you're doing well Ron and I'm glad you still got a job and you you're all doing healthy at your house thanks so much for joining us that's Ron Porteous just joining us from outside Ottawa thanks Ron thanks. Very much nice. To chat with you well travel as, you may know that's probably one of the reasons ron has, a little extra cash is very much off the table for everyone, right now and, for, places that rely, on tourism, and, there are so many of them of course in this country the impact will be devastating. That includes, Newfoundland, where so many businesses, depend, on summer visitors, well the CBC is Anthony Jermaine is in st. John's well. Thanks rosemary this is petty harbour a historic, community about 15, minutes from st. John's and like, hundreds, of other places it should be getting ready for, a busy tourism, season more. People visit here annually, than actually, live here and 2020. Was supposed to be a record breaker but, instead koba 19, is shattering, the entire industry. Many. Canadians, and people around the world have seeing the award-winning, ads and, they worked seducing. Visitors to make the effort to come to this remote province, and grow, tourism, into a billion-dollar, industry, even. Small villages, started, to get attention as. You know I'm running for mayor of dildo. But now efforts, to cash in on free publicity courtesy. Of an American, heavyweight celebrity. Seem pointless a lost, opportunity for. People like Angie, Reid well it was our eleven million dollar free advertising campaign, that he ran for us we put a lot of preparation, a lot of time a lot of money into, the, coming season based. On the, hype that we had last summer and in the city of st. John's George, Street two blocks of jam-packed. Mischief. And sin a popular. Magnet for party people looking for music drink, food and whatever. Well. This is George Street now vacant, during the day and night, unlike, other Canadian, cities, that can rely on locals, if and, when they reopen, the bars and restaurants here rely on tourism, to keep them afloat all year round there's, certain pride here in resilience, and facing, adversity but. There's just no way that the industry, will get anywhere, close to 1.6, billion dollars that were expected, the, Kovach curtain has even fallen, on come from away the smash hit about, how this province, welcomed, international. Flights during the darkness of 9/11. A story, about Newfoundland, openness, and generosity and, because. Of the pandemic instead, of embracing people, who come from a way we're saying stay, away and if, you don't police, armed, with a new pandemic powers, can search you without a warrant and escort. You away from this province, Anthony. Germain CBC News petty, harbour. Heartbreaking. To see George Street so empty but that is the reality for so many cities across, this country and part of it of course is because, the airline, industry, is not. Operating. In any substantial. Way and that has had a devastating effect. Air Canada, for, instance lost, more than a billion dollars in the first quarter, WestJet, laid off 3,000 employees last, month and some, of those employees will be hired back with the wage subsidy programs, but travel, still is going to be an issue and as you can imagine smaller. Airlines, are just, struggling to survive Josie, Marleen is the CEO of air north and he joins me now from, Whitehorse, hi Joe nice to see you I know.
I See you so, when. I hear that Air Canada lost a billion dollars, in the first quarter I can't imagine what, that means for for a small business like air North. Well. It's it's tough on every. Canadian business for sure and it's tough on airlines, in particular, I think that. Canada. Is a large, country with, a small population so. The the. Airline. Network is is awfully, important, to every. Canadian and I think it sometimes gets taken for granted I. Think. Of the airline industry like a like, the power company you know people get used to turning. The lights on and, they. Don't really pay a lot of attention to it but if. The power company for example lost 85 percent of its customers overnight and. Had to shut down or curtail services, people would notice in a big hurry and I. Think the impact, is similar with with, Airlines and you, know again going back to the power company they'd have to. They. Couldn't possibly generate. Enough revenue to pay for all of their fixed costs with only 8% of their customers and you know we're in kind of the same boat so we've, all all, of the airlines in the country are looking for for help so. So tell me what tell. Me first of all I guess how things have changed are, you operating any flights at all out of air north well. We are yes we the, first thing we did when the pandemic, --it is, we, cut back from, 30. Scheduled, flights a week to only. Nine and, actually. Cut back to only five and then immediately, heard from the hospital in the territorial. Emergency, measures organization. That. You. Know the capacity cutback, was was. Too. Much and in order to efficiently, move, medical. Supplies and people they needed more flight so we added, back some capacity, and, we're. Now struggling with. With. You, know trying to meet overhead expenses, out, of. Greatly. Reduced flying, yeah, nothing, I. Was. I, mean it's sort of different your your situation, is different because not only is it for people to move around, the vast country, but, also to get Goods I would imagine up, north and to more remote communities, and and, has there been any essential, as supports. Given to you because you also play, that role for much, of northern Canada. Yes. The territorial, government's all three territorial, governments I think immediately. Recognized. The the, role, that northern air carriers play in their economies, serving. Some. Communities, many communities, that don't have road access at all and. Communities. That. Often. Don't have paved runways so northern, air carriers I think fill. A niche in the air, travel sector that. Was recognized, and there, is some funding under the northern essential air services, program that's, helping. All of the northern carriers to at. Least defray. Meet. Some of their expenses, and. Make. It easier for us all to survive we're also taking. Advantage of, the wage. Subsidy program and the Yukon government. In particular has a couple of other programs. That are helping. Us to. Get. By so. Sojo just let me end on this are how how, do you feel about the future you're. The CEO of air north I can, see that you're struggling, how are you feeling about how, this is going to go forward. Well. Uncomfortable, but confident. That we're going to get through it I think air travel is going to be slow to recover I think, that it will be necessary to. Extend. Probably. Some of the aid programs, for longer. Than maybe, was first. Considered but I think that the impacts, of the pandemic are going to carry, on for longer than people anticipated, in, particular, for the airline industry we're going to come out of this a lot smaller than when we went in there's no doubt about that and it's, it's, going to take a number of years to get back to anywhere, near the size we were at before the, pandemic okay. Joseph Arlene good of you make the time and I wish you all the best and good health sir thank you thank. You same to you all right that's just barley and CEO of air north and he spoke to us from Whitehorse, on that note we'll go check in again with Duncan to see what, you are saying to all of us and if you've got other questions kind. Of remarkable, to hear Ron Porteous, they're talking, about. You know tackling, debt during, a pandemic and, and again, very. Fortunate, those of us who haven't lost work but, there are people online here during the program who are trying, to look at the silver lining here Betty Dawn Turman on, Twitter said this the people who are working from home can, save money by not needing transit, parking, lunches, dinners at restaurants, movies etc they, are doing, well. In, and there are is a conversation, that's going on online, right now about about changing, our habits and and whether or not we are taking this opportunity during, the pandemic Canadians.
Right Across the country to change our our consumption habits Josie. And aukmen on. Twitter said was, hoping for a radical shift in thinking especially, regarding. Consumer spending, a lot of the stuff we buy does not really benefit, local economies, we, need to think smaller local. Buy, more on the basis of real need rather. Than reckless. Want. They're, also a. Concern. I would say being expressed, by many, when we talk about the economy, of a, possibility, of a second wave you, know certainly. We as businesses. Are starting, to slowly reopen. Again there. Is a concern that there may be a second, wave of kovat. Infections, and that those reopen businesses, are going to have to close again, and so Angela, Angus, said this on Facebook, yes too early to open up restrictions. For social distancing, stay, home and stay. Safe, so, lots. Of folks giving. Us their their thoughts and. We have been trying to check in with our cameras, with, people we right, across the country we heard from Vancouver earlier summer. Is coming it won't be like years past we played you some tape a few minutes ago of Canadians in Vancouver, talking. About their expectations, but. We also spoke to people in Edmonton. I'm. Hoping, in this summer to, go to bands. To. See the nature and. I. Want this coronavirus. Situation, to get over as soon as possible so. That we can hang out with our friends go. For camping at all this summer you know I'm. Kind, of optimistic. I'm. Gonna be, outdoors enjoying it with my family, and. Supporting. All the local businesses that need to help and also, you know what just reconnecting, with friends, and family this. Is the first time I've ever been through something like this earlier or what to expect. Again. Nice to hear some of that hopeful, optimism. But the, fellow that was talking there about being outside I mean, there are people that are would. Like to go camping for example, but here in Ontario, the, Crown, land is closed to give that that people, wondering if that will happen what about summer camps I mean that's that's a real question as well are the kids gonna be able to go outside this summer yeah it's very hard to plan for the summer that's for sure I think perhaps, a wading pool in your backyard might, be your best investment and, hope summer moves forward. Of. Course we are we'd love to hear more from you I'll keep bringing you the questions in the comments that you send us our viewers, and listeners in, a bit we'll be talking about, reopening. With, New Brunswick premiere at Blaine Higgs if you have a question for him you can send it to us via Twitter or, you can email Cova dot cbc.ca. Or. Leave a note on our facebook livestream lots of people commenting on our live stream on the CBC news page, okay. I hope everyone feels like this is a town hall because, it's hard it's but, it's here we're doing. It's. Not the same as everyone being in a room together but we're trying to recreate the excitement, of a town hall all, right let's turn now to, Alberta. Because obviously the, crisis, in Alberta has been twofold, really, or maybe even bigger it's fighting, outbreaks, of Kovac 19 just like the rest of us but the whole province is dealing with plummeting, oil prices and, Calgary. Is really at the center of both of those battles Mayor Naheed Nenshi joins, me now on our virtual town hall from Calgary good to see you mayor. Great. To see her as many first time I've done a sound hole in a corner of my kitchen. Well. The first time for everything and that's what we're experiencing, with all of this that's for sure mayor so first, of all just let me ask how the city is doing because as I said you've been hit by multiple. Waves here not to mention the cancellation, of the Stampede which is a huge economic driver, for you as well, yeah. Really it's been a triple whammy for us as you say we've. Been hit by the public health crisis, like everybody, though Calgary is one of the nation's hotspots, and, we've had the largest workplace, outbreak. I think in North America, in the Cargill meat, plant in High River just south of Calgary than many of the workers live.
In Calgary and commute every day, number, two is the global recession and, the, general, hit to storefront. Business but. Also a lot of businesses that are important to Calgary I was excited to hear the Edmund Toni and just now saying she, wants to come to Bath, for. Some. Time this summer our traveling, tourism industry which is very important, to us has been just, decimated. And. So that's the, second part and then the third part is you say is what's. Been going on in the energy world in, this ridiculous price war on, oil and gas so. Economically. Dealing. With public health it's fair to say that Calgary. Is probably hit harder, than just about anywhere else in the developed world that. Said Calgarians, have been great at. Managing this we've been able to flatten the curve we've been able to look after one another and. There's. Been a lot of just good-heartedness. In the city I've been talking a lot about clean. Hands clear heads and open hearts and Calgarians. Have been great about all three so. I know, today though, there, was some reopening, plans announced by premier Kenney and Calgary. And Brooks, outside. Of Calgary are not going. To be on the same path at all it's the rest of the province because there are still so many cases there, how. Do you feel about that but the pace of things is going to be really, different in, Calgary than the rest of the province, you. Know it was the right thing to do I wish it hadn't come sorted at the 11th. Hour 3:30. On Wednesday. Afternoon, when people were thinking about Thursday, but, ultimately we have to make decisions. Based on the right evidence and the, challenge, in Calgary, is is partially, there's still more cases but it's partially it's more so that, there's more community transmission. And it's really important, that we have to get that under control. So, retailers, we never closed shops in Alberta you could still be open for curbside delivery, at. Curbside pickup, and delivery I should say but. Tomorrow most retailers, will be able to open across the province including, in Calgary with. Restrictions, many takers, will be open with restrictions, but, the other two big ones which were restaurants, and. Hairstylists. Mmm we all need it right now which. Were supposed to open tomorrow will, be delayed in other 10 days. Right okay. Well it's good you're taking that in stride I know, too though, that the the city you've had to layoff a lot of employees because of the pressures on the city, I know, Transit, has been hit as it has in many large cities what. Can the federal government do, to step in we've asked the prime minister that question on multiple. Occasions, and. It seems to be the answer is well this is a provincial jurisdiction. But I wonder if there is not something that could be done for cities in, a short-term way, there. Has to be and I was really excited to hear premier Ford Premier, of Ontario today, say, he wants to come to the table with the federal government because, look every, one of the large cities isn't a big problem here. In Calgary we're losing about 15 million dollars, a week by. The end of this year we'll have a deficit between 250. And 400, million, dollars and, we can't easily run a deficit, we're not like the province of the federal government and we don't have access to the same sources, of capital so. Given, that we're gonna have to borrow money across the system anyway it makes the most sense for, that money before by the orders of government that are getting zero percent interest right now and. That have access to markets in ways the cities don't Cobie. Is a big place right it's expected than five provinces but, we're just not used to borrowing, for, this working capital the way that others have so ultimately the. Federal government cannot abandon us to the provinces, because, some provinces don't have the capacity to help and some don't want to help and. The, provinces, cannot abandon us to the federal government because ultimately they're responsible, for us so we've got to have a tripartite, solution.
And People, have to set aside politics, and history and just solve the problem, and, do you feel, like. That's gonna happen it doesn't sound like you seem super optimistic, but that you're gonna get, you. Know the this is an endless, game right and I've been saying this for all the years I've been in politics that the easiest, thing we can do in politics is to pass that that's. A provincial responsibility that's. A federal responsibility that's a municipal responsibility at the end of the day we, all serve the same citizens and I feel like the leadership. Federally. And in some provinces like Premier for today do, understand. The issue I think, that a lot of folks who perhaps represent, different parts of the country that are. In different ways or less so really, need to understand, how this is a now a national. Problem 80% of citizens live in cities. And every. City is in trouble right, okay. Mayor story. We're coming, to endure such difficult, circumstances but. You do seem to have a nice kitchen and hang in there we'll talk again one. Of these days I'll put some art on these red walls thank. You so, very much for doing this for having this town hall and I just want to remind people that this, is about keeping everyone, in the community safe you, know do everything you can to avoid spreading the virus clean, hands it's still important, clear. Heads make thoughtful decisions about every action you take for others and most important, open, hearts physical distancing, doesn't mean social isolation we. Need to reach out to everyone. In the community and number, one is we reopen, whether, you like it or not whether you want us to do it or not number. One be kind to, everyone, the kinds of businesses would open be kinds of businesses that don't be, kind to all of your neighbors that's how we're gonna get through this together, mayor, good message thank you so much for making the time stay healthy and good luck to the city there Thank. You Stacey, all right nice to see you all right that's Mayor Naheed Nenshi the, mayor of Calgary of course well we've got someone who experienced. Firsthand a little bit of what the mayor was talking about there because as you may well know jobs. Are drying up in the oil patch throwing, many people out of work in part because of that global oil dispute, but in part of, course because the pandemic to andrew Ivany is from Newfoundland, but he did work in Alberta he was part of that fly-in, fly-out, community. Feeling, unsafe he left his job and drove across the country to get home and he joins me from Portugal, Cove st. Philip's Newfoundland. Good to see you Andrew. Hey. Are you doing this evening right I'm good so tell me what happened, you were working, where in Alberta and and how did you decide that this. Wasn't going to be a good decision anymore. Well. It. All came down we were just south. Of Red Deer working on working on well it was the last level pretty much a season, spring breakup was upon us and, and.
Then This, little Kovach thing came. About so, I'm yeah. After that it was me was the last will and. We just we knew that was it for you know for, a while anyway so I, figured. It was a good time to head. Back to the East Coast seen, out the numbers are of Copeland were growing rapidly rapidly you know in Alberta yeah. Now yeah you, decided not to fly, though tell me how you got, back to st. did he got back to Newfoundland, yeah no I'm I was talking to a friend, of mine rocky you also works in the oil field and he. Had, decided to buy a car so, we. Went to Calgary and no, I've bought a car and decided. To drive make, a trip out of it and figured, it'd be a little safer. So. So, now you're out of work and is there a prospect of work would you go back to Alberta, if absolutely, I was I was speaking with my field, supervisor, just. Yesterday, actually and he. Said. There's some work coming up I mean there's still Road bans and everything as well in. Alberta so you. Know and spring break up and stuff so there's a lot of factors, contributing. To you, know the loss of work and depends. On different services and well right services, some, services are not going to be moving as much as others so. But there is potential of some. Swapping rigs and and. Such going going back so. You. Know things. Will come around the. The federal, government put a lot of money into the, orphan well clean up is that something you'd be you'd be interested in getting to do if you were to go like. The the abandonments, we I mean I. Guess. Well, I've done quite a few bad events all winter I mean that seems like that's where most of the money's going going, towards is abandoning, all wells, so. So how are you coping right now are you living on savings, have you applied for the the, Serb what are you doing, well. You have some savings from the winter and and. Also, on that that, the, fund that $2,000. Or whatever so yeah yeah. I'm just you, know stay, in little ki just. China. You know get, through this just like everyone else you know it's it's tough, and. How are you thinking about the, the summer or the months ahead are you feeling, good, about things still worried just give me a sense of her I'm, oh I'm always optimistic you. Know, there's always light at the end of the tunnel so you, know I'm just gonna be out doing, a lot of kayaking and. Fishing and, stuff and just being out in nature that's. Usually what I do that. Doesn't sound terrible at all Andrew thank you so much for me. It's. Pretty it's pretty socially, distant, the places I go. All. Right Andrew nice to meet you thank you and good luck I hope you do get back out to Alberta I'm sure they I'm sure they miss all of you Newfoundlanders, who were doing the back and forth and we. Miss them very good. Thank you that's Andrew Ivan in Portugal, Cove st. Philip's Newfoundland, all right let's go back to Duncan to see what, Canadians, are telling us right now there's lots of Canadians like Andrew just, trying to make the best with with the cards they've been dealt and, the conversation, is continuing, about the the kind of changes, that people are making in their own