Transcript of the Video Message from the Governor General of Canada during the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 25, 2020

OTTAWA—Dear fellow Canadians,

As you are all well aware, we find ourselves in a complex and difficult situation. We are facing an invisible adversary that threatens our way of life. It is already affecting us with full force.

By now, a new reality has set in and here in Canada, like everywhere else, we are adapting.

We are fortunate that our governments have responded vigorously. You can be sure that decision makers and community leaders throughout the country are preparing for all possible scenarios and are monitoring the situation closely.

We also need you. Every single one of you to help hold the line. Because this virus does not know borders, or timeline, colour or nationality. It zeros in on the most vulnerable, but it lives everywhere. Not just on people, but on doorknobs and table counters. It is a clever beast that we cannot underestimate.

We know that the spread of the virus can be slowed down.

So what should we do?

You already know the drills: stay at home, wash your hands. Stay informed and follow the directives of public health officials. Keep away from people other than your immediate family. Resist – and this is important – resist the temptation to visit friends and neighbours.

And trust science. With time, the virus will be defeated. Scientists are working on it frantically, among them are some of our brightest Canadian researchers.

These “social distancing” measures that you all have to bear right now may seem drastic at times, but they are necessary and they make all the difference. Trust the data, they do much more than protect you. They protect the entire society because (1) they curb the transmission rate of the virus (2) they ensure that our health system is not overwhelmed by a huge number of patients at the same time and (3) they allow time, precious time, to develop treatments and a viable vaccine. But it only works if we all do it.

I know I speak for all of you in expressing immense gratitude to all those who work on the frontline, nurses, doctors, scientists and health care professionals. Our guardian angels. Thank you to the first responders and the essential service providers who take care of everything around us, and to the journalists and experts who keep us informed;

And finally, kudos to all of you who are following the rules and keeping your distance. 

Now things are not going to be easy in the coming weeks.

This is not the time to let your guard down.

This is the time to stay the course. To be patient and disciplined. To stay united. No matter how hard it is.

This situation might very well last a while. But we have seen uncertain times before and we will prevail. We have the will. We have the spirit.

So take advantage of technology to stay in touch. Call your family and friends or share stories online… 

…But please stay put and convince your teenagers to do the same.

We are all part of the resistance against the virus.

Help each other, stay safe, take care.

Julie Payette


Please note that the text above is a transcript of the video available at

Media information:

Natalie Babin Dufresne
Rideau Hall Press Office

Ashlee Smith
Rideau Hall Press Office

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