ADVOCACY UPDATER: Parliament Resumes on Dec. 5
— Updated December 6 —
Earlier in the week, we mentioned that the Parliament will reconvene for the first time on Thursday following the election. Here is an update!
Things to know about yesterday’s federal Throne Speech
By Scott Munnoch and David Black
Yesterday, Governor General Julie Payette delivered the 43rd Parliament’s Speech from the Throne, formally launching the legislative agenda for the Liberal minority government. The Throne Speech primarily focused on three policy areas: climate change, the economy, and reconciliation.
- Climate Change – The speech identified climate change as “the defining challenge of the time”, and the Government promised new, ambitious action on the issue. Expect the Liberals to stand by the Federal price on pollution, implement a Federal Clean Fuel Standard, and take new and strengthened measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- The Economy – The Government will continue its thematic focus on the middle class. The speech indicated that the first act of the new Parliament will be to enact a middle-class tax cut – specifically raising the basic personal tax deduction to $15,000 (a Liberal election promise).
- Reconciliation – The speech identifies reconciliation with First Nations peoples as a core priority of the Government. Amongst a suite of measures to realize that goal they will continue working to eliminate all long-term drinking water advisories on reserves by 2021.
The speech highlighted pharmacare, gun control as issues that this Parliament will prioritize. The speech also acknowledged regional tensions and the government said that it is open to considering and enacting good ideas from all Parties and any Parliamentarian.
To pass its first confidence vote on the Speech from the Throne the Liberals will need at least 170 MPs to vote in favour of the speech. Based on the initial reactions from the Party Leaders the Trudeau government should survive its first confidence vote.
Conservatives (121 seats) – following the speech Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said that he was “extremely disappointed” by the Speech and that his party would be moving an amendment to the document during the coming debate. Scheer argued that the Government did nothing to unite the country – a likely reference to the fact that natural resources development was not mentioned in the Speech.
Bloc Quebecois (32 seats) – BQ leader Yves-François Blanchet spoke to the media second and said that his party will vote in favour of the Speech.
NDP (15 seats) – NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh spoke to the media third and characterized the Speech as “full of empty promises and little action”. By the time Singh spoke to the media it appeared as through the government had enough support to pass the speech which allowed him to be much more critical than he might have been if the speech was going to be defeated.