Trudeau In Throne Speech Vows To Tackle Climate Change, Ban Assault Weapons

TORONTO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th December, 2019) Canada's new government will tackle climate change and strengthen gun control laws, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the 43rd parliament in a speech delivered on his behalf in Ottawa.

The Speech from the Throne is delivered by Her Majesty the Queen's representative in Canada, the Governor-General, on behalf of the prime minister at the commencement of a new Parliament outlining the government's vision for the country.

"Canada's children and grandchildren will judge this generation by its action - or inaction - on the defining challenge of the time: climate change," the speech, as read by Canadian Governor-General Julie Payette, said on Thursday. "A clear majority of Canadians voted for ambitious climate action, now, and this is what the government will deliver."

Trudeau in his address reiterated his government's commitment to achieving "net-zero" on emissions by 2050. Trudeau also pledged to protect 25 percent of Canada's land and oceans by 2025, and promised to plant 2 billion trees.

The Prime Minister also announced that the new parliament will take concrete steps to strengthen gun control.

"The government will crack down on gun crime, banning military-style assault rifles and taking steps to introduce a buy-back program," the Governor General said on Trudeau's behalf.

The new government, in accordance with the Liberal's campaign promise, will move to allow municipalities and communities to ban handguns, according to the speech.

In the speech, Trudeau implicitly broached the fault lines in the federation, expressing his commitment to getting Canadian energy products to market and conceded that "regional economic concerns are both justified and important," referencing the growing disenchantment in Western Canada.

Trudeau also outlined his Indigenous reconciliation policy, a key element of which will introducing legislation implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in the first year of the new mandate. The announcement was described as "ambitious" by Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, but nevertheless "excellent news."

The speech also covered a host of other issues, such as healthcare - including implementation of a national pharmacare system and exploring the feasibility of dentacare system - tax cuts for the middle class, and a plan to cut cellular rates by 25 percent.

The opposition now has six days to deliberate and debate the Speech, during which time parliament members can add amendments. Should the Throne Speech be voted down, the government will be dissolved and a new election will take place.

Opposition leader Conservative Andrew Scheer, delivering his rebuttal, lambasted the Throne Speech because he said it contained nothing about national unity or Western Canadian economic hardship.

"We are very disappointed in this throne speech. We are going to be moving an amendment to it," Scheer said.

New Democrats Leader Jagmeet Singh, who ran on the promise of delivering national single-payer funded pharmacare and dentacare systems, called the speech "not good enough."

The Throne Speech was delivered in the Senate of Canada Building, located half a mile from Parliament Hill.