Canada’s 43rd Parliament – Speech from the Throne: CVCA Perspective

December 6, 2019 | By: Matt Ivis

On December 5th, 2019, the Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette, opened Canada’s 43rd Parliament with the Speech from the Throne (SFT), outlining a five-point agenda for this session of Parliament:

  1. Fight climate change
  2. Strengthen the middle class
  3. Walk the road of reconciliation
  4. Keep Canadians safe and healthy, and
  5. Position Canada for success in an uncertain world

The SFT underscores the importance of collaboration and public service in an attempt to focus members of parliament on their duties and opportunities, and away from the partisan divides of the minority government context.

Of specific relevance to CVCA members, the SFT states that the government will:

  • Set a target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and continue to lead in ensuring a price on pollution
  • Work to make clean, affordable power available in every Canadian community
  • Work with businesses to make Canada the best place to start and grow a clean technology company
  • Continue with ambitious investments in infrastructure and reduce red tape so that it is easier to create and run a start-up or small business
  • Work with Indigenous communities to close the infrastructure gap by 2030
  • Strengthen the pensions that so many seniors rely on
  • Cut taxes for all but the wealthiest Canadians, and
  • Pursue a responsible fiscal plan to keep the economy strong and growing.

Moreover, the government acknowledged that “Canada’s experience proves that economic growth is the surest way to maintain a good quality of life for citizens.” As private capital is an important driver of economic growth, the CVCA will engage on key issues of relevance to its membership.

Below is a summary of the full government agenda across each of the five priority areas, as outlined in the SFT.

Fighting Climate Change

  • Set a target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050
  • Continue to lead in ensuring a price on pollution
  • Introduce measures to build clean, efficient, and affordable communities
  • Make it easier for people to choose zero-emission vehicles
  • Work to make clean, affordable power available in every Canadian community
  • Work with businesses to make Canada the best place to start and grow a clean technology company
  • Provide help for people displaced by climate-related disasters
  • Protect 25 percent of Canada’s land and 25 percent of Canada’s oceans by 2025

Strengthening the Middle Class

  • Cut taxes for all but the wealthiest Canadians
  • Continue investments in affordable housing, and make it easier for more people to buy their first home
  • Cut the cost of cell and wireless services by 25 percent
  • Strengthen the pensions that so many seniors rely on
  • Increase the federal minimum wage
  • More support to students, be they new graduates struggling with loan repayment, or heading back to school mid-career to learn new skills
  • To ensure fairness for all in the new digital space, the Government will review the rules currently in place.
  • Remove additional barriers to domestic and international trade for businesses and farmers
  • Continue with ambitious investments in infrastructure and reduce red tape so that it is easier to create and run a start-up or small business.
  • Pursue a responsible fiscal plan to keep the economy strong and growing

Walking the Road of Reconciliation

  • Reconciliation with Indigenous people remains a core priority for this Government
  • Take action to co-develop and introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the first year of the new mandate
  • Continue the work of eliminating all long-term drinking water advisories on reserve by 2021, and ensure safe drinking water in First Nations communities
  • Co-develop new legislation to ensure that Indigenous people have access to high-quality, culturally relevant health care and mental health services
  • Continue work to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice, in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples
  • Work with Indigenous communities to close the infrastructure gap by 2030
  • Continue to move forward together to ensure that Indigenous Peoples are in control of their own destiny and making decisions about their communities
  • Take new steps to ensure the Government is living up to the spirit and intent of treaties, agreements, and other constructive arrangements made with Indigenous Peoples
  • Ensure that Indigenous people who were harmed under the discriminatory child welfare system are compensated in a way that is both fair and timely
  • Continue to invest in Indigenous priorities, in collaboration with Indigenous partners.

Keeping Canadians Safe and Healthy

  • Crack down on gun crime, banning military-style assault rifles and taking steps to introduce a buy-back program
  • Municipalities and communities that want to ban handguns will be able to do so
  • Invest to help cities fight gang-related violence
  • Take greater steps to address gender-based violence by developing a National Action Plan
  • Work with stakeholders to ensure that all Canadians can access a primary care family doctor
  • Work with stakeholders to introduce mental health standards in the workplace, and to make sure that Canadians are able to get mental health care when they need it
  • Make it easier for people to get the help they need when it comes to opioids and substance abuse
  • Take steps to introduce and implement national pharmacare so that Canadians have the drug coverage they need
  • Improve mental health care supports for veterans, and helping ensure that every homeless veteran has a place to call home

Positioning Canada for Success in an Uncertain World

  • Renew Canada’s commitment to NATO and United Nations peacekeeping
  • Stand up for the rules-based international order, particularly when it comes to matters of trade and digital policy
  • Ensure that Canada’s voice is present at the UN, notably on the UN Security Council
  • Provide targeted resources for international development assistance, including investments in education and gender equality

The CVCA advocates on behalf of the Canadian private capital industry. For more information on the importance of private capital, visit our website here.


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