Throne Speech full of big, vague promises – but will it deliver?

Media Release
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 22:00

Today’s Speech from the Throne comes at a major turning point in this global pandemic. A second wave appears imminent – in some communities across the country, it has already started.

Canadians are ready for change. Seventy-three per cent of Canadians expect a “broad transformation of society,” and the government promised to move forward on many important social programs today, including steps towards national pharmacare, childcare and national standards for long-term care.

While these promises move in the right direction, the Council of Canadians will continue to advocate for long-term investments in public services that are equitable and publicly accountable.

“Canadians are counting on governments at every level to step up to address the challenges that the pandemic has laid bare.  A recovery must include new universal public programs that support people in communities across this country, as well as a transition to a truly sustainable economy based on climate justice,” said John Cartwright, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “The Throne Speech has outlined some of those programs – now it is up to federal and provincial governments to make them a reality.”

The Council of Canadians has been pushing the government to respond to the COVID-19 crisis with a plan for a just recovery - a national economic plan that responds to the impacts of the pandemic by prioritizing the needs of people and communities, not corporations.

The Council of Canadians is calling for a just recovery that prioritizes the needs of people and the planet over corporate profits by:

  • Enacting universal pharmacare and national, enforceable standards for long-term care.  
  • Ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all. 
  • Investing in public infrastructure and public services that are equitable and accountable.
  • Creating and transitioning workers to thousands of sustainable, green jobs that also fight climate change
  • Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)   

“Some of the most devastating impacts of the pandemic are the result of policy choices that cut public investments and ignored deepening inequality. We have to invest in long-term, public services that are equitable and publicly accountable,” said Christina Warner, Director of Campaigns and Organizing of the Council of Canadians. “The Council will keep working to ensure that governments prioritize people and the planet, not corporate profit.”

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Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is a grassroots-based social action organization, mobilizing a network of 60 chapters across the country and over 150,000 supporters from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

Through our campaigns we advocate for clean water, fair trade, green energy, public health care, and a vibrant democracy. We educate and empower people to hold our governments and corporations accountable.

Join us and be part of a global movement working for social and environmental justice. We believe a better Canada and a fairer world are possible. Together, we turn that belief into action.

The Council of Canadians is a registered non-profit organization and does not accept money from corporations or governments.