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Throne Speech is Trudeau Getting a Pass?

Throne Speech is-canada-mileniostadium
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listen to Gov. Gen. Julie Payette deliver the throne speech in the Senate chamber in Ottawa, Ontario, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

 

Over the past 30 years and running l have been involved in a couple of throne speeches and I have heard many speeches that have had a lot of smoke and window dressing. COVID-19 has been good to Justin Trudeau and his survival as the Prime Minister of Canada. If an election were called tomorrow, Trudeau and the Liberals would form a majority government and he would reign for another five years with clown like antics.

With the throne speech behind us and not much substance except a lot of rhetoric…COVID-19 was the shield that this government and Trudeau have taken cover under. Mr. Trudeau has said that he does not want to see a federal election this fall, but that opposition parties will have the opportunity to trigger one when MP’s vote on the speech.

These are some of the highlights from the throne speech that you need to take note of.

Child Care

The Liberals are vowing to pour billions of dollars into building an affordable child-care system, new affordable housing and new national standards for long-term care for seniors.

Trudeau pledged to work with provinces to set new national standards for long-term care of seniors, who were hardest hit by the pandemic. About 80 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Canada have occurred in long-term-care homes. The government also reiterated a previous pledge to subsidize before-and-after-school program costs.

Jobs

This government is promising to move on creating one million new jobs, restoring employment to its pre-pandemic levels, and launch a green economic recovery through new supports for green innovation, including a corporate tax cut for companies investing in clean energy. The federal employment insurance system will become the main financial support system for Canadians, replacing the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit program put into place earlier this summer to stem losses felt by the pandemic. The Liberals have also committed to creating a transitional Canada Recovery Benefit program for those unqualified for EI.

COVID-19 Testing

Trudeau has promised more federal help to increase provinces COVID-19 testing capacity and surge testing in remote areas, as well as financial support for businesses shut down by local public health orders and ongoing efforts to secure domestic supply chain for personal protective equipment. The Liberal government is spending $19 billion to aid provinces under safe restart agreements, plus another $2 billion directly in support for schools to reopen.

Economy

The Liberals have included extending the Canadian Emergency Wage subsidy program until the summer of 2021, spending money on infrastructure and handing out incentives to employers that hire and retrain workers. 

Criminal Code Changes for Seniors

The government will amend the Criminal Code to penalize those who neglect seniors under their care, putting them in danger. It will also set national standards for long-care homes and attempt to help people stay in their homes longer. One of the greatest tragedies of the crisis has been the lives lost in long-term care homes, the government is promising to amend the Criminal Code to penalize people who neglect seniors under their care.

Climate Change and the Environment

The government is promising to bring forward a plan to exceed its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Liberals are also supporting manufacturing natural resource, and energy sectors as they work to transform to meet a net zero future and recognise farmers, foresters, and ranchers as key partners in the fight against climate change. This government has also committed to create a new Canada Water Agency.

Systemic Racism

The Liberals are reopening Parliament with a renewed promise to introduce legislation to shake up the criminal justice system from diversion to sentencing from rehabilitation to records.

It also said it will move forward on enhanced civilian oversight for the RCMP – which falls under the ministry of public safety’s portfolio – and address standards on the use of force.

Some other quick highlights from Wednesday (23) SFT …this government has promised to…

  • Implement more money for rapid housing in the short term and partnering with not-for-profit and co-ops in the mid-to-long-term.
  • Enhancements to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.
  • Free and automatic filing for simple tax returns.
  • Major investments in federal IT systems to modernize the provisions of services.
  • Legislation by the end of 2020 to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • To protect the French language, strengthening the Official Languages Act.

Despite the weight of controversies, Trudeau dodged defeat in the 2019 election and returned to the Prime Minister’s Office with his Liberals reduced to a minority status. It has forced Trudeau and the Liberals to work with opposition parties to pass legislation and to keep the government afloat. But just when you thought Mr. Trudeau was done…he gets another life saver. COVID-19 pandemic hits and he has taken this time to recalibrate politically and try to work towards a new majority government. If the opposition parties are foolish enough to force and early election… the Trudeau Liberals will form a majority government and will be in power for many years to come.

Justin Trudeau like the ever-ready rabbit, just keeps ticking away…

Vincent Black/MS

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