Trudeau on boosters, inflation and Quebec’s religious symbols ban

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As Omicron case numbers continue to rise, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau affirmed his government will be able to deliver vaccine booster shots and support Canadians through rising inflation.

In a year-end interview with CTV News’ Evan Solomon, airing in full on CTV’s Question Period this Sunday at 11 a.m. EST, Trudeau stated his government has secured enough vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna “for everyone to get boosters,” but offered no timeline for their rollout.

“The delivery of those boosters is on the provinces and they are setting up their timelines in terms of that,” he said. “There are commitments to have the boosters in Canada as soon as we need them.”

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Trudeau also addressed growing inflation, which has seen consumer prices rise across the country. He urged Canadians to get vaccines and boosters as a means of helping get the economy back on track.

“Inflation is a direct consequence of the global COVID crisis,” Trudeau explained. “We promised to be there to support people through COVID and all its impacts, and that’s what we’re doing. So, the supports for small businesses, the supports for families, the supports for vulnerable people, we’re going to continue to do them, even as we make fiscally responsible investments in things that will make a difference in the long term.”

In the interview, Trudeau defended his government’s handling of Quebec’s controversial Bill 21, which bans public sector employees in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols and recently led to a Grade 3 teacher in Quebec losing her job because of a hijab.

“The best place to be fighting this as a first step is for Quebecers themselves to be challenging this unjust law in their courts that their provincial government put forward,” Trudeau said. “We have taken (a) very clear stance that this bill is… wrong. We have also said we’re not putting aside the possibility of challenging it at the Supreme Court.”

Trudeau also confirmed that he will run in Canada’s next election.

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The full interview with the prime minister will air on CTV’s Question Period this Sunday at 11 a.m. EST.

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