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Summary: Federal Government's Speech from the Throne Opens 44th Parliament

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Governor-General Mary May Simon delivered her first Speech from the Throne on November 23rd. 2021. She opened by delivering personal remarks and a passionate call-to-action on reconciliation.

The new government has outlined a series of priorities that included climate change, Indigenous reconciliation, and diversity and inclusion. During this shorter than usual Speech from the Throne, key issues were outlined for this minority government, including re-announcing several commitments focused on completing the task of fighting against COVID-19, addressing affordability issues, improving homeownership potential, and job creation.

Under the banner of economic resiliency, the government demonstrated a shifting away from pandemic program support to address specific hard-hit sectors.

Key measures included:

  • Extending or adding support for specific industries that continue to struggle with the effects of the pandemic.
  • Establishing a $4 billion plan for a new Housing Accelerator Fund. The goal is to build the annual housing supply in the country's largest cities every year, targeting 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2024-25.
  • A new rent-to-own program.
  • Focus on building a national early learning and childcare system - a commitment to $10-a-day childcare.
  • Increasing immigration levels to promote more significant economic immigration that includes more efficient family reunification.

The opposition parties responded to the Throne Speech as follows:

  • The Conservatives opposed it and noted a lack of action to address Canadians worries about the cost-of-living and rapid increase in home prices. In addition, they cited concerns about growing deficits that will lead to higher taxes. Finally, they did not believe the priorities outlined adequately address employment and investments in recovery.
  • The NDP outlined a series of items they needed to see to support the Throne Speech. Notably, they were critical of the Speech due to a lack of:
    • Mention for a national pharmacare plan.
    • Support to workers employed in the fossil fuel industry.
  • With the Bloc Quebecois supporting the Throne Speech, it will pass in the House of Commons. This, despite less than favourable praise from the Bloq Leader.

For complete information and the transcript of the Throne Speech, please visit the Government of Canada website.  

The above summary has been prepared for the benefit of CPB Canada members.


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