Trudeau to address the nation as Conservatives reject throne speech

Grant Boone
September 24, 2020

He called the speech pretty words on paper and said his party has two conditions for its support: make sure that the end of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit in lieu of an expanded employment insurance program doesn't mean people actually get less money, and introduce paid sick leave.

Beland said the throne speech - a "broad, vague speech" by design - will give Canadians an opportunity to understand where opposition parties stand and which party or parties are willing to prop up the government.

While the speech made no specific spending commitments - those will come later - it said this was "not the time for austerity".

The increasingly grim backdrop: Trudeau's warning comes as Canadian Covid-19 cases climb higher, a setback that follows the country's success in flattening the curve earlier in the pandemic.

The Liberals will need the support of at least one other federal political party to avoid possibly triggering a snap election.

"Payette also said in the speech that Ottawa would expand the Canada Emergency Business Account to: "help businesses with fixed costs; improve the Business Credit Availability Program, and "(introduce) further support for industries that have been the hardest hit, including travel and tourism, hospitality, and cultural industries like the performing arts".

Much like State of the Union addresses in the United States, Canada's Throne Speeches highlight a government's high-level policy direction and principles.

"No parent, especially no mother, should have to put their career on hold", Trudeau said.

Kelly said, however, he is disappointed there are no signs the government will cancel Canadian Pension Plan hikes scheduled for January 1 and a hike in the federal carbon backstop in the spring.

To combat the "she-cession" the government is promising to create an action plan to help bring women back into the workforce. "Everything that was in the speech is more or less what we have been fighting for in the previous year, or even since 2015 - strengthening the middle class, fighting climate change, all those things".

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The first piece involved purchasing millions of seasonal flu shots that the government is encouraging all residents to get. The number of new active COVID-19 cases in publicly funded schools across the province has jumped by 51 to a total of 141.

"I very much look forward to new federal resources for child care, which is a shared priority and would be a key priority for a re-elected B.C. NDP government". "This is the opportunity to contain the global crisis and build back better, together".

The government also wants to make Canada "the most competitive jurisdiction in the world for clean technology companies".

It said the recovery should attach seven green conditions to government stimulus and recovery efforts, including that industry receiving assistance commits to a zero-emission transition and disclosure of climate risk and a prohibition on share buybacks and dividend payouts.

"Low interest rates mean we can afford it", he said.

But in a statement, they added that they also have concerns about the cost of the government's "expansive" plan.

Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen said the Tories can not support the speech because it doesn't address a major issue: Western alienation and national unity. "We were hoping for something better", she said.

"There will be more debt".

"We support Canadians but there has to be some fiscal stability", said Conservative MP Candice Bergen.

Trevor Nichols is a Reporter with Huddle Today, an Acadia Broadcasting content sharing partner.

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