Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, fighting climate change, end to the pandemic the focus of Trudeau government Throne speech

Gov. Gen Mary Simon is Canada's first Indigenous head of state

No surprises in Tuesday’s speech from the throne.

The Liberal government stuck to the expected script, promising to fight climate change, build the economy while bringing an end to the pandemic, pursue reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and roll out new child care deals.

The speech was read by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, Canada’s first Indigenous head of state.

“Already, I have seen how Canadians are committed to reconciliation. Indigenous Peoples are reclaiming our history,  stories, culture and language through action,” Simon said In a speech delivered in English, French and Inuktitut.

“Non-Indigenous peoples are coming to understand and accept the true impact of the past and the pain suffered by generations of Indigenous Peoples. Together, they are walking the path toward reconciliation.”

To actually strengthen that relationship, Simon said the federal government will have to get to the root of what took place at residential schools across the country and take action on health care and climate change.

She said reconciliation is not a single act nor has an end date, but is instead “a lifelong journey of healing, respect and understanding.

Since the early spring, several Indigenous communities across the country have reported the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools.

Simon also focused on tackling climate change and pursuing a green economy.

“The government will also strengthen action to prevent and prepare for floods, wildfires, droughts, coastline erosion and other extreme weather worsened by climate change,” she said.

Simon also touched on the government’s goal of cutting and capping oil and gas sector emissions.

As for the economy, she said improving the quality of life for Canadians meant making life more affordable for everyone.

“While Canada’s economic performance is better than many of our partners, we must keep tackling the rising cost of living,” she said. “To do that, the government’s plan includes two major priorities — housing and child care.”

Simon said part of the economic rebound for Canada will require Ottawa to continue working with the provinces to establish a national $10 a day child care program.

Banner image: Gov. Gen. Mary Simon