Governor General Julie Payette delivered the Trudeau government's throne speech on Wednesday, introducing the Liberal Party's vision for the coming months, with particular emphasis on the second wave of COVID-19 and the economic recovery of the country.
Payette began the speech by speaking about the work that has been done by Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Payette read "like a reed in high winds we may sway but we may not break" then added "this is no time for austerity."
The speech was structured in "4 foundations" –1 : fight the pandemic and save lives. 2: support people and businesses through crisis as long as it lasts. 3: 'build back better', strengthen the middle class. 4: stand up for who we are as Canadians.
The speech included ambitious promises. The government pushed plans to create one million jobs, help provincial governments get access to COVID-19 testing, create a federal assistance response team, increase investing in long term care, go forward with a plan to create a universal child care system, go after online hate speech, create a national pharmacare program, extend the Canada Emergency Wage Benefit and much more.
The throne speech had earlier been called "ambitious" by the prime minister himself, with a declared emphasis on "a healthier, safer, fairer, cleaner, and more inclusive Canada."
Those insights were enough for financial experts to sound alarms, with Canada's deficit already exceeding $343 billion, and a national debt exceeding $1 trillion.
The speech left out a plan for national unity, provincial autonomy, new healthcare funding for provinces, a plan for the oil & gas sector and many more requests opposition parties were asking for.
As to why Trudeau decided a Throne speech was necessary in the first place, Trudeau said that the prorogation of Parliament was to "reset" their direction.
"We are taking a moment to recognize that the throne speech we delivered eight months ago had no mention of COVID-19, had no conception of the reality we find ourselves in right now. We need to reset the approach of this government for a recovery for a recovery to build back better, and those are big important decisions, and we need to present that to Parliament and gain the confidence to move forward on this ambitious plan," the prime minister stated.
Trudeau had previously criticized Stephen Harper for his prorogation of Parliament in 2015.
"The prorogation we are doing right now is about gaining or testing the confidence of the House, which is the opposite of what the conservatives did that we rightly railed against back in 2015," Trudeau told reporters on August 19.
The decision to prorogue was widely criticized by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, who called out Trudeau for shutting down investigations into the WE Charity scandal.
The Conservative Party of Canada is not happy with the speech and will not support it.
In their response speech, Deputy Leader Candice Bergen and House Opposition Leader Gerard Deltell pushed that this was another 'typical Liberal speech.' Deltell told reporters "we need to see control of spending' and Bergen mentioned "when the government racks up debt, its the people that are going to pay it."