The Liberal government has unveiled the roadmap it says will help Canadians weather the unrelenting storm of the COVID-19 pandemic and “build back better” for a fairer, more resilient country.
In the Senate chambers Wednesday, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette delivered the Liberal government’s much anticipated throne speech to mark the second session of the 43rd Parliament. The speech, penned by the Prime Minister’s Office, clocked in at about an hour.
The plan promised a full-court press on the pandemic, guided by science, until a vaccine is available. With fears of an imminent second wave as cases rise, it urged Canadians to come together to face an “invisible enemy” that respects no borders, calling it “the most serious public health crisis Canada has ever faced.”
It also called on parliamentarians to meet the crucial moment like past Canadians who led the country through wars and depression.
“Like a reed in high winds, we may sway but we will not break. Because our roots are firmly in place, our goals clear, and because we have hope — the hope that lifts the soul on dark days and keeps us focused on the future,” Payette said, reading from the more than 6,800 word text.
The pandemic exposed “fundamental gaps in our society” and in countries around the world, it reads, from the parents (“especially moms”) forced to choose between their career and children to the neglect in many long-term care centres that shocked the conscience of Canadians over these past six months.
The government’s approach to the crisis will have four “foundations,” the speech said:
- Fighting the pandemic and saving lives;
- Supporting people and businesses through the emergency “as long as it lasts, whatever it takes”;
- “Building back better” by creating jobs and strengthening the middle class;
- Standing up for Canadian values, including progress on reconciliation, gender equality, and systemic racism.
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