Highlights of today's speech from the throne
Speech lays out government's priorities as global pandemic rages on
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, which was set to end at the end of the year, initially offered to cover 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.
It was updated in July to both expand eligibility and gradually reduce the subsidy rate.
Watch: Government commits to creating one million jobs
As of Sept. 13 the program has paid out more than $35 billion.
"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.
Watch: The government's plans for childcare
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 will also 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.
Watch: Government outlines its environmental policy goals
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.
While most of the speech focused on Canada's COVID-19 recovery plan, one section was dedicated to addressing systemic racism in Canada.
Most of those initiatives have been announced already, or were hinted at over the summer as Black Lives Matter protests erupted across North America and the RCMP dealt with the blowback from a number of controversial arrests and use-of-force incidents.
The Liberals are reopening Parliament with a renewed promise to introduce legislation to shake up the criminal justice system "from diversion to sentencing, from rehabilitation to records."
It also said it will move forward on enhanced civilian oversight for the RCMP — which falls under the minister of public safety's portfolio — and address standards on the use of force.
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."
Watch: Government lays out four approaches to pandemic and economy