Liberals present Speech from the Throne to Open 42nd Session of Parliament

The new session of Parliament is officially underway with the reading of a throne speech sketching out the priorities of the new Liberal government.

The speech, delivered by Gov. Gen. David Johnston, promised a new spirit of openness and civility in Parliament, in which all members, on the government and opposition benches, will be “honoured, respected and heard.”

The speech expanded on five themes that were central to the Liberals’ victory in the Oct. 19 election.

It reiterated the Liberal pledge to cut the tax rate for middle-income earners and provide a more generous child benefit to those who need it, all paid for by a tax hike on the wealthiest one per cent.

It also promised significant new investment in infrastructure to boost the stagnant economy.

The speech highlighted the Liberals democratic reform promises; to run an open and transparent government, reform the House of Commons to empower backbenchers, reform the Senate and replace the first-past-the-post electoral system.

On the environment, it promised to continue working with the provinces to put a price on carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The speech said the government would create a new “nation-to-nation relationship” with indigenous peoples. It also promised to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools and to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The speech also reiterated the Liberals promise to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana, develop a new health funding accord with the provinces, bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February and support the CBC.

To read the text of the entire speech, click here.

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