Speech from the throne discusses top five agendas of Liberal government
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
Parliament resumed on December 4 for the first time since July.
There was an aura of optimism in Parliament, as the general public was invited to witness the first session.
Governor General David Johnston delivered a speech from the throne to kick off the new government. Johnston welcomed new and returning members of Parliament.
“Canada succeeds in large part because here, diverse perspectives and different opinions are celebrated, not silenced,” Johnston stated in his speech, cited by the Canadian Press.
The speech reconfirmed many of the promises given by Trudeau and the Liberals during their election campaign, with a specific focus on five different agendas.
The first agenda covered assistance for middle class Canadians, which has been speculated as the first legislative action to be taken in Parliament since Trudeau was sworn in as Prime Minister in November. The actions taken to help the middle-class include tax cuts, increased funding to both child benefit and pension plans, public growth, job creation, more affordable post-secondary education, investment in public transportation, and the creation of a new health accord.
Digging further into government reform, the second agenda discussed abolishing the first-past-the-post electoral system and reforming the Senate.
Environment and economy fell under the third agenda, which promised a future where the two don’t compete, but rather co-exist. Investment in clean energy technology, carbon taxes, and a new environmental review process were mentioned.
The fourth agenda is improving relationships amongst the many demographics that occupy Canada. The Liberal government promised increased relations between the federal government and the indigenous populations, placing the inquiry into the missing and murdered women as a top priority in repairing the relations. Other groups mentioned within the fourth agenda were Syrian refugees, veterans, and the CBC.
The final agenda discussed internal and external security.
In regard to internal security, Johnson said: “To that end, the government will introduce legislation that will provide greater support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; that will get handguns and assault weapons off our streets; and that will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.”
External security policies appeared to come from a perspective of peacekeeping. A renewal of Canada’s peacekeeping relations to the UN is to be prioritized. The speech also assured that Canada will stand by its allies in the fight against terrorism. In regard to the military, the agenda mentioned wiser spending that will lead to “a leaner, more agile, better-equipped military.”