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Trudeau, Freeland field questions from Canada's youth in virtual townhall

CA, 29 Apr 2021
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland took part in a virtual townhall with the nation's youth from across the country for a Q&A session.

"This has been a tough year for everyone, but it's been particularly tough for young people. I know my kids at home have had a huge tough time at it not seeing friends the same way, not being able to do the same kinds of events, but also a deeper concern at what this is going to mean for the coming years," Trudeau said.

A number of topics were discussed, including what was being done to save the environment and to lessen the reliance on fossil fuels.

"We need to do an awful lot more to fight climate change and protect our environment," the PM said, adding that his government has done a lot over the last five years including putting a price on pollution, making investments in renewable energy as well as in research in new technologies.

The inequalities within Canada's health-care system were also raised. Freeland pointed to the allocation of $500 million towards the national strategy to pay for high-cost drugs for rare diseases in her recent federal budget. She also said the government's extension of the Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit from 15 weeks to 26 weeks will go a long way to helping.

Another topic discussed was the rise in anti-Asian hate, something Trudeau called "extremely, extremely concerning. Because it's not who we are."


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