Throne Speech Light Fails to Set Path for Economic Recovery

The Federal Government’s Throne Speech delivered by Governor General Julie Payette on September 23rd provided insight on Prime Minister Trudeau’s priorities for COVID-19 recovery. While focused on many important health and social policy priorities, it is decidedly light on industrial policy or economic stimulus.

The Throne Speech is focused around the theme of supporting middle class Canadians and has a strong focus on COVID-19 health measures and on introducing initiatives to support disadvantaged Canadians.

While focused on many important social policy priorities, it falls short on industrial policy or economic stimulus. FBC-ABC encourages the federal government to announced additional measures to get the economy back on track through either the federal Industry Strategy Council working under Minister Bains or Minister Freeland’s Economic Update expected later this fall

The Throne Speech does include some business supports focused around labour.  These are welcome and we look forward to the details:

  • extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) into next summer,
  • investing in labour attraction, retention and up-skilling, and
  • leveraging Canada’s immigration system to support economic growth.

We were disappointed that there was no significant acknowledgement of the role that Canada’s food sector played during the crisis, or measures to support critical infrastructure sectors, like food, in continuing to managing COVID-19 costs.

There are potential significant costs build into the Throne Speech related to environmental measures such as zero emissions targets and a ban on harmful single-use plastics to be introduced next year. Without appropriate transition programs and economic support, sectors that have been hard hit by COVID-19 will be placed under additional pressures.