On August 18, 2020 the Prime Minister announced that he would ask the governor general to prorogue Parliament to give the government the opportunity to reset their agenda to address the ongoing issues the federal government faces to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today’s Speech from the Throne marks the beginning of the second session of the 43rd Parliament of Canada. Today’s speech was a declaration from the government of its vision for the future of Canada, which outlined past initiatives and priorities as well as provided a new vision for Canada while dealing with Covid-19.
The governor general outlined four main foundations in the speech:
- Fight the pandemic and save lives.
- Support people and businesses through the crisis as long as it lasts – whatever it takes.
- Build a stronger and more resilient Canada.
- Stand up for who we are as Canadians.
To read the entire Speech from the Throne click Throne Speech 2020 -43rd Parliament
The speech also outlined:
- The Federal Government’s commitment to extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program through the summer of 2021 to keep workers connected to their employers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
- It will continue to transition unemployed Canadians off the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit onto to a new assistance benefit, and ultimately to a revamped Employment Insurance.
- The Emergency Wage Subsidy program pays 75 per cent of an employee’s wage, up to $847 a week, if that person is kept on a company payroll, even if that person has little or no work to do.
- The Emergency Response Benefit, the most popular of the Government’s COVID-19 programs, has paid people $2,000 a month.
- The two economic announcements had been signaled before, and were just two of a multi-announcement Speech From The Throne that lasted much longer than usual.
- The decision to phase out the CERB as originally announced in August could have ramifications on the fate of the Minority Liberal Government. As recently as this morning NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said his party’s support for the speech was conditional on extending the CERB. The Liberals need the support of one other party in the Commons to survive a confidence vote on the speech or the country could be plunged into an election.
- The Conservatives immediately said they would vote against the speech. Earlier the Bloc Quebecois said it too was leaning against supporting the speech.
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