On November 23, 2021, Governor General Mary Simon—Canada’s first Indigenous governor general—delivered the federal government’s Speech from the Throne (the Speech), following a minority win for the Liberals during the September 2021 election.
While governments can leverage Throne Speeches as an opportunity to redefine parties or shake things up, the Speech focused on the themes presented in the Liberal Party platform during the election.
The government’s priorities are summarized below:
The government confirmed that it will continue to provide targeted support for industries that have been severely impacted by the pandemic. As previously announced, these measures include:
- Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
- Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program
- Support during Public Health Lockdown
No further details were provided in the Speech; however, our advisors offer more information on the programs here.
Faced with a rise in extreme weather events, the government is under pressure to “go further, faster” to combat climate change. The Speech addressed the following measures:
- capping and reducing oil and gas sector emissions
- prioritizing clean electricity and achieving a 100% net-zero electricity future
- developing the first-ever National Adaptation Strategy to help Canadians adapt to the impact of climate change
- improving public transit and mandating the sale of zero-emission vehicles
National childcare program
- aiming to reduce the average child care fees for regulated childcare by 50% by the end of 2022
- finalizing the $10-a-day child care agreements with the remaining four provinces/territories
- creating a Housing Accelerator Fund to support municipalities with building homes faster
- enhancing the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive to allow new homeowners to choose between the current shared equity approach or a loan that is repayable only at the time of sale
- introducing a new Rent-to-Own program
- reducing closing costs for first-time buyers by increasing the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit from $5,000 to $10,000
The Throne Speech is a de facto motion of confidence. The content of the Speech is debated in the House of Commons; should a majority of MPs vote against it; another federal election would be triggered. Based on the opposition parties’ preliminary reactions, the Speech will likely pass, and Parliament can officially settle into its usual routine.