Insights and Analysis

Speech from the Throne Opening the First Session of the 44th Parliament

Today, Governor General Mary Simon fulfilled two of her primary constitutional responsibilities by opening the new session of Parliament and delivering the Speech from the Throne. The Speech is written by the government of the day and is intended to broadly outline its priorities. It rarely includes many details.

With yesterday’s re-election of Anthony Rota (Nipissing—Timiskaming) as Speaker of the House, the Throne Speech will now be debated and voted on as a matter of confidence in the new minority government. Therefore, the government will be looking for support from at least one of the other major parties and is expected to easily pass that vote.

Of particular note, this was the first Throne Speech that was read in three languages, English, French (as the two official languages) and also Inuktitut.

The opening of the Speech referred to the terrible flood situation in British Columbia and the COVID pandemic crisis. Overall, the focus was on seven themes:

  1. Build a Healthier Today and Tomorrow:
    • Getting the pandemic under control
    • Strengthening healthcare
  2. Grow a More Resilient Economy:
    • Permanently ending the pandemic and rebuilding the economy
    • Targeting support, while managing spending
    • Tackling inflation
    • Investing in housing and childcare
    • Increasing immigration
  3. Bolder Climate Action:
    • Producing the world’s cleanest steel, aluminum, building products, cars and planes
    • Capping and cutting oil and gas sector emissions, while accelerating the path to a 100 percent net-zero electricity future
    • Investing in public transit and mandating the sale of zero-emissions vehicles
    • Increasing the price on pollution
    • Protecting land and oceans from biodiversity loss
    • Creating a Canada Water Agency
    • Focusing on climate change adaptation
  4. Safer Communities:
    • Strengthening gun control
    • Implementing 10-year National Action Plan on gender-based violence
    • Renewing Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy
  5. Diversity and Inclusion:
    • Fighting systemic racism, sexism, discrimination, misconduct and abuse, including in core institutions
    • Empowering Black and racialized Canadians and Indigenous Peoples
    • Fighting harmful content online, stand up for LGBTQ2 communities and banning conversion therapy
    • Protecting and promoting French outside and inside Quebec
    • Supporting Canadian culture and creative industries
  6. Path to Reconciliation:
    • Recognizing truth and responding to the Calls of Action, creating a national monument to honour survivors and appointing a Special Interlocutor to further advance justice on residential schools
    • Investing in distinctions-based mental health and wellness strategy
    • Addressing tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLBGTQQIA+ People
    • Adopting a whole-of-government approach to reconciliation
  7. Secure, Just and Equitable World:
    • Increasing engagement with international partners, coalitions, and organizations
    • Reinforcing international peace and security, rule of law, democracy, and respect for human rights
    • Preserving and expanding rules-based trade and ensuring supply chains are strong and resilient
    • Protecting Canadians from threats to communities, society, and democracy
    • Deepening partnerships in the Indo-Pacific and across the Arctic
    • Increasing Canada’s foreign assistance promoting gender equality

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