climate change canada

Canada sets climate change target for zero net emissions by 2050

Prime Minister Trudeau gave his speech from the throne in the Senate today, outlining the Liberals' plans for their new minority government and welcoming Anthony Rota as the new Speaker of the House of Commons.

Read by Governor General Julie Payette, Trudeau's remarks touched on a number of topics Canadians are hoping the government will take action on, such as tackling climate change, supporting the middle class, addressing gun violence and furthering reconciliation efforts.

In the speech, the prime minister revealed an admittedly ambitious new goal for Canada to reach zero-net emissions by 2050, and that Parliament will support "cleaner, more efficient" communities and "protect more of our land and oceans," while still, somewhat contradictorily, supporting those working in natural resource sectors.

He also promised tax cuts for "all but the wealthiest" as part of his mandate to bolster the middle class — a demographic for which he's appointed its own minister — and vowed to continue increasing affordable housing.

The housing subject is of particular concern to those living in cities like Toronto or Vancouver, where rent and housing prices have been skyrocketing unrelentingly lately.

The speech also mentioned banning military-style assault rifles and allowing municipalities to make their own rules around the legality of handguns.

Also, prioritizing the needs of the country's Indigenous peoples — who are currently in the midst of a suicide crisis in some parts of the country — and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Some additional somewhat vague highlights: a plan to "build a strong and growing modern economy," ensure access to quality health care and drug coverage across the country, continue with our peacekeeping mandate internationally and "further steps to address gender-based violence" in Canada.

Reactions have been mixed, with some saying the speech snubbed the country's west and calling it full of empty promises, among other things.

Lead photo by

Kalen Emsley

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