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Federal throne speech to focus on health, economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic

Last Updated Sep 22, 2020 at 3:28 pm PDT

FILE - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the media before the first day of a Liberal cabinet retreat in Ottawa, Monday September 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Summary

The federal government will deliver its speech from the throne Wednesday

The Liberals' plan to help the country get through the pandemic and rebuild the economy

Spending commitments for vaccines, COVID-19 testing and containing local outbreaks expected: reports

OTTAWA — The Liberals will outline their plan to help Canada get through the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild the economy in the throne speech Wednesday.

When Governor General Julie Payette reads the speech from the throne, the Liberal government is expected to present a three-pillar approach to helping the country out of the health crisis.

The immediate focus will be on dealing with the health challenges of the pandemic, followed by medium-term efforts to support Canadians struggling financially and get them back to work. In the long-run, the government plans to introduce measures to revive the economy with an environmental focus.

According to reports, the government is working on a billion-dollar electric car strategy, and Bloomberg says there will be spending commitments for vaccines, COVID-19 testing and containing local outbreaks.

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The federal government has also indicated it will address social support gaps on matters such as child care, long-term care and supports for women and minorities.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said his party will endorse whatever the Trudeau government outlines, but on two conditions.

It has to have adequate support for people who lost their job because of COVID-19 and that has to be backed up by legislation.

Singh also said watching Governor General Julie Payette read the speech might feel a little strange because of the accusations against her creating a toxic work environment in her office.

As MPs prepare to return to the House of Commons, talks are still underway for the possibility of virtual voting.

“It’s a slow and very ponderous and technically challenging,” said Conservative MP Peter Kent.

Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen has no fears about sittings in the house amid a pandemic, despite the fact her party’s leader, Erin O’Toole, and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves Francois Blanchet are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

“I feel satisfied everyone has the right motives, making sure that safety is paramount,” she said.

Trudeau plans to address Canadians on Wednesday on the urgency of fighting COVID-19 as the country faces the prospect of a second wave.