Scott Newark's picture
How the Throne Speech impacts safety & security
Posted on Sep 23, 2020

The following Throne Speech extracts impact the safety and security of Canadians.

Recognizing the urgency of this challenge, the Government will make a significant, long-term, sustained investment to create a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system.

The Government also remains committed to subsidizing before- and after-school program costs. With the way that this pandemic has affected parents and families, flexible care options for primary school children are more important than ever.

The Government will also accelerate the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, which has already helped women across Canada grow their businesses.

In the longer term, the Government will focus on targeted investments to strengthen the middle class, build resiliency, and generate growth. The Government will also identify additional ways to tax extreme wealth inequality, including by concluding work to limit the stock option deduction for wealthy individuals at large, established corporations, and addressing corporate tax avoidance by digital giants.

Web giants are taking Canadians’ money while imposing their own priorities. Things must change, and will change. The Government will act to ensure their revenue is shared more fairly with our creators and media, and will also require them to contribute to the creation, production, and distribution of our stories, on screen, in lyrics, in music, and in writing.

This fall, the Government will release an update to Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. This will outline the Government’s economic and fiscal position, provide fiscal projections, and set out new measures to implement this Throne Speech.

Around the world, advanced economies are realizing that things should not go back to business as usual. COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerabilities in our societies. The Government will create a resiliency agenda for the middle class and people working hard to join it. This will include addressing the gaps in our social systems, investing in health care, and creating jobs. It will also include fighting climate change, and maintaining a commitment to fiscal sustainability and economic growth as the foundation of a strong and vibrant society.

Although long-term care falls under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, the federal government will take any action it can to support seniors while working alongside the provinces and territories. The Government will work with Parliament on Criminal Code amendments to explicitly penalize those who neglect seniors under their care, putting them in danger.

The Government will also continue to address the opioid epidemic tearing through communities, which is an ongoing and worsening public health crisis. Additionally, the Government will further increase access to mental health resources. All Canadians should have the care they need, when they need it. We will all be stronger for it.

The Government remains committed to a national, universal pharmacare program and will accelerate steps to achieve this system including:

  • Through a rare-disease strategy to help Canadian families save money on high-cost drugs;
  • Establishing a national formulary to keep drug prices low; and
  • Working with provinces and territories willing to move forward without delay.

The Government has banned assault-style firearms. The Government will also continue implementing firearms policy commitments, including:

  • Giving municipalities the ability to further restrict or ban handguns; and
  • Strengthening measures to control the flow of illegal guns into Canada.

Women’s safety must be the foundation on which all progress is built. The Government will accelerate investments in shelters and transition housing, and continue to advance with a National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence.

In 2017, the Government announced that it would reduce chronic homelessness by 50 percent. The Government has already helped more than a million people get a safe and affordable place to call home. Given the progress that has been made, and our commitment to do more, the Government is now focused on entirely eliminating chronic homelessness in Canada.

The Government will also strengthen local food supply chains here in Canada.

The Government will immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal. The Government will also legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The Government will ban harmful single-use plastics next year and ensure more plastic is recycled. And the Government will also modernize Canada’s Environmental Protection Act.

When the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration was closed by a previous government, Canada lost an important tool to manage its waters. The Government will create a new Canada Water Agency to keep our water safe, clean, and well-managed.

The Government will also identify opportunities to build more resilient water and irrigation infrastructure. At the same time, the Government will look at continuing to grow Canada’s ocean economy to create opportunities for fishers and coastal communities, while advancing reconciliation and conservation objectives. Investing in the Blue Economy will help Canada prosper.

  • Accelerating work on the National Action Plan in response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice, as well as implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action;

The Government will move forward to introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples before the end of this year.

The Government will redouble its efforts by:

  • Taking action on online hate;
  • Building a whole-of-federal-government approach around better collection of disaggregated data;
  • Implementing an action plan to increase representation in hiring and appointments, and leadership development within the Public Service;

Progress must also be made throughout the policing and justice systems. All Canadians must have the confidence that the justice system is there to protect them, not to harm them.

Black Canadians and Indigenous Peoples are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. That has to change.

The Government will take steps to ensure that the strong hand of criminal justice is used where it is needed to keep people safe, but not where it would be discriminatory or counterproductive.

The Government will:

  • Introduce legislation and make investments that take action to address the systemic inequities in all phases of the criminal justice system, from diversion to sentencing, from rehabilitation to records;
  • Move forward on enhanced civilian oversight of our law enforcement agencies, including the RCMP;
  • Modernize training for police and law enforcement, including addressing standards around the use of force;
  • Move forward on RCMP reforms, with a shift toward community-led policing;
  • And accelerate work to co-develop a legislative framework for First Nations policing as an essential service.

Earlier this year, the Government announced measures to grant permanent residency to people who, although not Canadian citizens, had cared for the most vulnerable in long-term care homes and other medical facilities. The Government will continue to bring in newcomers and support family reunification. We know that there is an economic and human advantage to having families together.

The Government vows to continue to fight for free trade, including by leading the Ottawa Group to reform the World Trade Organization.

Open the 2020 Budget document here.

– Scott Newark