Highlights from federal Throne Speech

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General opened the Second Session of the 41st Parliament today with a Speech from the Throne in the Senate Chamber.

The following highlights address matters of interest to BC local governments:

Resource Development

The Government's plan for responsible resource development includes measures to protect against spills and other risks to the environment and local communities, including:

  • Enshrine the polluter-pay system into law;
  • Set higher safety standards for companies operating offshore as well as those operating pipelines, and increase the required liability insurance;
  • Re-introduce the Safeguarding Canada's Seas and Skies Act, to protect our oceans and coasts; and
  • Act on advice from the Expert Panel on Tanker Safety, to create a world-class tanker safety system in Canada.

Environment

The Government will:

  • Unveil a new National Conservation Plan to further increase protected areas, focusing on strong marine and coastal conservation.
  • Work with communities, non-profit organizations, and businesses to create and protect more green space in our urban and suburban areas.

Transportation

The Government will require shippers and railways to carry additional insurance so they are held accountable.

Natural Disasters

The Government will work with provinces and territories to develop a National Disaster Mitigation Program, focused on reducing the impact of natural disasters.

Infrastructure

Over the next decade, the Government will invest 70 billion dollars in federal, provincial, territorial and community infrastructure.

Regulation

The Government will introduce legislation to enshrine the One-for-One Rule in law: for every new regulation added, one must be removed.

Consultation re: Drug Injection Sites

The Government will re-introduce and pass the Respect for Communities Act to ensure that parents have a say before drug injection sites open in their communities.

Trade
  • The Government will soon complete negotiations on a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union. The federal Government also committed to expanding trade with emerging markets in Asia and the Americas through our engagement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and active negotiations with Japan, South Korea, and India.
  • The Government will amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act to allow Canadians to take beer and spirits across provincial boundaries for their own use.

Governance

  • The Government will freeze the overall federal operating budget, which will constrain hiring.
  • The Government will proceed with reform of the Senate upon receiving the advice of the Supreme Court.
  • The Government will propose changes to Canada's election laws. Legislation will be introduced in time for the implementation prior to the next federal election.

2017 Anniversary of Confederation

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Government will work with Canadians to support community projects, local celebrations, and other initiatives to commemorate this historic occasion.

The full text of the speech is available here.

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