Throne speech promises tax cut, climate action and ban on military-style firearms
As Parliament returned in Ottawa, the Governor General Julie Payette read out the throne speech of Canada’s 43rd government on Thursday.
The throne speech was grouped under four themes: fighting climate change, strengthening the middle class, Indigenous reconciliation, keeping Canadians safe and healthy and positioning Canada for success in an uncertain world.
In a throne speech promising new efforts to tackle climate change, make life more affordable and impose a ban on “military-style” firearms, the Liberal government today called on members of Parliament to work across party lines to solve some of the country’s most pressing issues.
The government signaled it will take up issues championed by the opposition parties — like tax-free parental benefits and a crackdown on money laundering — alongside its own ambitious agenda for progressive reform.
On the national unity front, the speech acknowledged the growing restlessness in Alberta and Saskatchewan at a time of depressed oil and gas prices and constrained pipeline capacity.
The Liberal government promised to “find solutions” to help those provinces, and oil-rich Newfoundland and Labrador, weather the oil price slump.
The speech said the Liberal government is committed to getting “Canadian resources to new markets,” a reference to the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project currently under construction after years of delays.
While promising climate action, the government has also said building this pipeline to tidewater is in the national interest as it will deliver Alberta oil to markets abroad at better prices.
The government promised to defend its national price on carbon to help curb greenhouse gas emissions while pushing ahead with a plan to render the country “net-zero” on emissions by 2050. That plan would mean making deep cuts to carbon emissions or offsetting those emissions through other actions that scrub carbon from the atmosphere, such as planting trees. The Liberals have promised to plant two billion trees.
On the “keeping Canadians safe and healthy” file, the speech promised to follow through with a pledge to implement a national pharmacare program. In a surprise addition to the speech, the government also said Parliament should study the viability of a dental care program.
The Liberal government pledged to do more to improve quality of life of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It said while progress has been made in the last four years on things like ending long-term boil water advisories and boosting funding for First Nations schools, much more needs to be done in the years ahead.
On the foreign affairs front, the Liberal government said it would continue its efforts to secure Canada a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
“Canada’s children and grandchildren will judge this generation by its action — or inaction — on
the defining challenge of the time: climate change. The government will continue to protect the environment and preserve Canada’s natural legacy. And it will do so in a way that grows the economy and makes life more affordable,” Payette said.