Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau’s ruling Liberal government has announced its intention to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, climate action and green jobs. On Wednesday September 22 Governor General Julie Payette delivered a Throne Speech that marks the second session of the 43rd Parliament. The speech was written by the Prime Minister’s Office and delivered in the Senate chambers. It promises to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal and legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. They also vowed to work towards a fairer more resilient country.
The Liberals announced a “build back better” plan which is similar to U.S. Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s plan by the same name. Like the Democrats the Liberals are promising to create thousands of jobs retrofitting homes and buildings
They also vowed to make zero-emissions vehicles more affordable, halve the tax rate for cleantech companies, as well as fund and attract investments in zero-emissions technologies. The government said it will ban single-use plastics next year.
Right before the Throne Speech Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May told reporters that she and her two MPs would not vote for the speech unless it committed to a massive decrease in Canada’s GHG emissions. The Liberal government also pledged its support for manufacturing, natural resources and the energy sectors as part of Canada’s transformation to net zero.
The throne speech also promised new measures to tackle both systemic racism and systemic inequalities. This includes taking action on online hate, accelerating work on the national action plan, responding to the calls for justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the implementation of the recommendations proposed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Liberals also promised that they will introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.