Canada

Governor General opens parliament, announces new measures


Published

Following a month when the Canadian parliament has been prorogued the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston opened the second session of the 41st Parliament yesterday.

The Prime Minister’s website press release on the Governor General’s speech is as follows:

“Seizing Canada’s Moment: Prosperity and Opportunity in an Uncertain World

Ottawa, Ontario 16 October 2013

Today, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the second session of the 41st Parliament and outline our Government’s agenda.

“Two and a half years ago, Canadians gave our Government a mandate to create jobs, keep taxes low, and help make our streets and communities safe for families,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “Despite ongoing global uncertainty, Canadians now have a unique opportunity to build on our ingenuity, our immense natural wealth, and our values and stability, to secure our future and our children’s future.

“Our Government will deliver on the commitments made in the Speech from the Throne by creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians, supporting and protecting Canadian families, and putting Canada first,” added the Prime Minister. “This is Canada’s moment; we will seize it together to help ensure that hard working Canadians prosper.”

Some of the key measures that the government will undertake under each of its three principal themes include:

Creating Jobs and Opportunities for Canadians:

• Balancing the budget by 2015 and reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio to pre-recession levels by 2017;
• Reducing the cost of the federal government to ensure that taxes remain low;
• Completing reforms to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to ensure that Canadians always have the first chance at available jobs; and,
• Expanding trade with the European Union by concluding a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, as well as with markets in Asia and the Americas.

Supporting and Protecting Canadian Families:

• Supporting greater competition in the wireless sector by addressing roaming costs on networks within Canada;
• Providing Canadians with the opportunity to choose the combination of television channels they want by requiring that they be unbundled;
• Taking steps to address geographic price discrimination against Canadians; and,
• Supporting victims of crime and punishing criminals by introducing the Victims’ Bill of Rights and legislation to address cyber bullying.

Putting Canada First:

• Providing the Canadian Armed Forces with the tools they need to defend Canada’s sovereignty and vital interests;
• Providing further support to help meet the needs of veterans, including helping them secure jobs and reintegrate into civilian life;
• Further strengthening the immigration system, including introducing a new model to select immigrants based on the skills that Canadian employers need to expand their businesses and the economy; and,
• Honouring Canada’s Confederation as we approach our historic 150th anniversary in 2017.

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