The Liberal government laid out its plan to guide the country through the rest of the COVID-19 pandemic in its throne speech today.
Here are some of the highlights of the throne speech delivered by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette.
One of the pillars of the speech is a promise by the Liberal minority government to create over one million jobs. The government said it will do this through “direct investments in the social sector and infrastructure, immediate training to quickly skill up workers, and incentives for employers to hire and retain workers.”
As part of that plan, the government says it will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through to next summer.
The program covers 75 per cent of wages, up to a weekly maximum of $847, for workers at eligible companies and non-profits affected by the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program — which as of Sept. 13 had paid out more than $35 billion — was set to end in December.
“People losing their jobs is perhaps the clearest consequence of the global economic shock that Canadians — like those in other countries — have faced,” says the speech.
Women, the economy and child care
To address the pandemic’s disproportionate economic effects on women, the throne speech touched on the government’s pledge to get more women into the workforce.
As part of that effort, the government is promising “significant, long-term, sustained investment to create a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system.”
The government said it also remains committed to subsidizing before- and after-school program costs.
Criminal Code changes for seniors
Noting that one of the greatest tragedies of the crisis has been the lives lost in long-term care homes, the government is promising to amend the Criminal Code to penalize people who neglect seniors under their care.
The government said it also will work with the provinces and territories to set new national standards for long-term care
Canadian Disability Benefit
The speech also included a promise to another group that has been hit hard by the pandemic: Canadians living with disabilities.
The government said it is working on a Canadian disability benefit, modelled on the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors.
The government is promising to bring forward a plan to exceed its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
It’s also promising to legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The throne speech includes promises to create thousands of jobs by retrofitting homes and buildings and to make zero-emissions vehicles more affordable.
New airline routes
The Liberals say they will work with partners to support regional routes for airlines.
“It is essential that Canadians have access to reliable and affordable regional air services,” says the speech.
“This is an issue of equity, of jobs, and of economic development. The government will work to support this.”