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Trudeau promotes Canadian lobster, doles out aid to fishermen

The Canadian lobster industry is suffering in the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said - JOE RAEDLE / ©AFP
The Canadian lobster industry is suffering in the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said - JOE RAEDLE / ©AFP

(AFP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday Can$470 million (US$330 million) in pandemic aid for Canadian fishermen, saying: “You can’t harvest lobster from inside your house.” 

Fishermen, he noted, have struggled with social distancing rules that have left them “trying to figure out how to either space people out on a fishing boat or cancel (their) operations.”

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“It’s not an easy call to make,” he said. “On top of that, prices and demand have gone down, putting financial pressure on fishers and their families.” 

“Taken together, this adds up to a really tough time.”

The prime minister urged Canadians to support local fisherman and farmers by buying Canadian cheese and lobster, or having a “fish fry” — a meal of battered or breaded fish and a side of fries.

“Not only will it taste great, but it’ll help the people who keep putting food on our plates,” he said.

At his daily news briefing in Ottawa, Trudeau also announced a partial reopening of national parks on June 1 to give Canadians access to trails and green spaces where physical distancing is possible to get some “fresh air” as an easing of lockdowns begins after two months of self-isolation.

“You can’t prevent Canadians from going outside when the weather is nice. You just have to help them do it safely,” Trudeau commented.

Responding to a dire warning by the WHO that the coronavirus may never go away and populations will have to learn to live with it, Trudeau also acknowledged “shifts in our society, some for the better, some for the worse.”

“You used to be able to get on a plane without having to take off your shoes,” he said, alluding to security checks at airports brought in after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

“COVID-19 will be one of those things that creates changes in our society too,” he said.

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