Sussex Adrenaline is supporting Prostate Cancer Canada's "Plaid for Dad" campaign. Join us, and thousands of Canadians, and wear Plaid for Dad on June 17th in support of Prostate Cancer Canada.
Learn more
Sussex is proud to be both agency of record and a sponsor for World Refugee Day 2016. Find out how you can help us save lives together on June 20th.
Learn more

Throne Speech Sets Out Trudeau’s Agenda for Pandemic Second Wave and Economic Recovery

Published on
September 23, 2020

This afternoon, the Trudeau Government delivered its third Speech from the Throne since being elected in 2015. The speech, entitled A Stronger and More Resilient Canada, was delivered by Governor General Julie Payette in the Senate Chamber, and kicks off the second session of the 43rd Parliament.

Unlike other Throne Speeches, this one was delivered with muted pageantry due to strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Only a small number of Senators and Members of Parliament attended the Senate Chamber for the Speech—an event that normally sees the Senate completely full. Notably absent from the day’s events were Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole and Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet, who are unfortunately ill with COVID-19.

The top-line is that the Speech committed the government to creating one million jobs—roughly the same number lost during the pandemic – and to implementing a broad range of spending commitments and programs ranging from health care to a green recovery.

One item noticeably absent from the speech is an increase to federal/provincial health transfers. This ask was widely supported by Provincial Premiers and is likely to be central to ongoing discussions with the provinces and territories.

Notable announcements and commitments from the Throne Speech include:

Curbing a Second Wave/Helping Canadians

  • Extend wage subsidy supports through Summer of 2021.
  • Create a federal Testing Assistance Response Team to help meet testing surges and needs, especially in remote and northern communities.
  • Expedite access to faster COVID-19 testing technology.
  • Transfer CERB recipients to the Canada Recovery Benefit, a new EI program.
  • Scale up the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, to provide more paid work experiences next year for young Canadians.
  • Target financial support specifically to businesses that have been forced to shut down because of public health orders.
  • Make investments in a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system.
  • Take action to support seniors by working with the provinces and territories to set new, national standards for long-term care and help seniors stay in their homes longer.

Economic Recovery

  • Identify additional ways to tax extreme wealth inequality, including by limiting the stock option deduction for wealthy individuals at large, established corporations, and addressing corporate tax avoidance by digital giants.
  • Eliminate remaining barriers between provinces to full, free internal trade.
  • Develop an Action Plan for Women in the Economy to help more women get back into the workforce.
  • Expand the Canada Emergency Business Account to help businesses with fixed costs.
  • Improve the Business Credit Availability Program.
  • Introduce further support for industries that have been the hardest hit, including travel and tourism, hospitality, and cultural industries like the performing arts.

Green Recovery

As part of its green recovery plan, the Government committed to:

  • Create thousands of jobs retrofitting homes and buildings, cutting energy costs for Canadian families and businesses.
  • Invest in reducing the impact of climate-related disasters, like floods and wildfires.
  • Help deliver more transit and active transit options.
  • Make zero-emission vehicles more affordable while investing in more charging stations across the country.
  • Move forward with the Clean Power Fund aimed at transforming how Canada powers its economy and communities.
  • Support manufacturing, natural resource, and energy sectors as they work to transform to meet a net zero future, creating good-paying and long-lasting jobs.
  • Ban single-use plastics next year while ensuring more plastic is recycled.
  • Modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
  • Create a new Canada Water Agency.

The Government pledged to immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal and will also legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Next Steps

Because of the minority parliament, the Liberals must now secure support for the Throne Speech from at least one opposition party to avoid losing the confidence of the House of Commons, which would likely trigger a general election this fall.

The Conservatives and Bloc Québécois have both signaled that they will vote against the speech. The NDP have signaled they need further commitments from the Liberals on income support and paid sick leave before agreeing to support the government.

Assuming the Liberals survive a confidence vote, the milestones ahead including reconstituting parliamentary committees, publishing updated ministerial mandate letters, and continuing pre-budget consultations leading to a fall economic statement/mini-budget, and the Spring Budget in 2021. In addition, the Throne Speech noted that this Fall the government will publish an update to Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, setting out the Government’s economic and fiscal position, providing fiscal projections, and identifying new measures to implement the Throne Speech.

Prime Minister’s Address and Opposition Responses

This evening, Prime Minister Trudeau delivered a rare, prime-time television address to the Nation. The Prime Minster acknowledged that many regions of Canada have entered a second wave and that this wave could be worse than the initial one this Spring. The Prime Minister urged Canadians to download the COVID-19 contract tracing app, wear a mask and get the flu shot. Trudeau also briefly summarized key commitments made earlier today in the Throne Speech.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole responded to the Prime Minister’s address by focusing on the job losses faced by Canadians since the start of COVID-19 and the regional divisions in Canada. O’Toole specifically urged the government to expedite the approval of rapid virus testing.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet criticized the government for not increasing provincial health transfers while also condemning the government’s commitment to national standards for care for the elderly.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reiterated the need for universal pharma and dental care, more funding for income supports and a wealth tax.

Of the three respondents, Singh seems most likely to support the Throne Speech in the days ahead, thereby averting a general election.

Federal Engagement

As the details of the programs announced today become available, let Sussex help connect you with the right people in government to help your organization get through these extraordinary times.

Please reach out to your Sussex representative directly or to a member of the Federal Government Relations Team.

No items found.