Saturday December 5, 2015

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday December 5, 2015

Throne speech: New tone, tax cut and a turning point for First Nations

The Liberal government has promised a new tone for Parliament and set out an “ambitious” agenda that includes delivering tax cuts for the middle class, a renewed commitment to peacekeeping and a new health agreement with the provinces.

Today’s 15-minute speech from the throne, titled “Making Real Change Happen,” was delivered in the Senate chamber by Gov. Gen. David Johnston. It presented in broad strokes the government’s plans and priorities for the 42nd Parliament.

As an “immediate priority,” the government will deliver a tax cut “for the middle class.”

“This is the fair thing to do, and the smart thing to do for Canada’s economy,” Johnston read from the speech.

The address also promised a better future for Canada by being “smart and caring on a scale as never before.”

“The times we live in demand nothing less,” Johnston read.

The government is also promising to renew, nation-to-nation, the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples, based on “recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.”

To that end, the throne speech committed to improve education for First Nations children, to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and to implement recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The throne speech also promised to usher in a new tone for Parliament, which has been characterized by partisan bickering in recent years.

“In this Parliament, all members will be honoured, respected and heard, wherever they sit,” Johnston said. “For here, in these chambers, the voices of all Canadians matter.” (Source: CBC News)

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