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Serre: Throne Speech shows Liberals have all Canadians in mind

‘These unprecedented circumstances have taken an economic, social and mental toll on our communities’
MP Marc Serre
Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre. (File photo)

Since being elected in 2015, I have consistently heard from residents that they want a government they can trust and that will support them.

That’s why the federal government acted swiftly since the beginning of this pandemic to ensure concrete and direct support measures were available for individuals, families, businesses, youth, Indigenous communities, seniors and Canadians with disabilities. 

These unprecedented circumstances have taken an economic, social and mental toll on our communities and our government acknowledges the role it must continue to play as we forge ahead with a cautious and optimistic recovery plan. 

The Throne Speech delivered by Governor General, Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Julie Payette and the nation-wide address from our prime minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, clearly states the well-being of Canadians and the capacity to rebuild our economy is vital moving forward. 

The federal government has collaborated with provinces and territories providing significant investments such as $19 billion through the Safe Restart Agreement and $2 billion through the Safe Return to School Agreement to ensure regions have the capability to increase testing capacity. They’ve also worked to create direct investments in the social, infrastructure and green sectors, to incentivize employers to hire and retain workers. 

As an active member of several caucuses and member of the National Standing Committee of the Status of Women, I see many concerns and priorities addressed by myself and fellow committee members outlined in the Throne Speech. 

We have committed to introduce further measures to empower women and support them inside and outside of the workplace as reports have shown they have been the hardest hit demographic for job loss throughout the pandemic. 

As a former school board trustee, I know how important it is for all levels of government to work collaboratively to ensure affordable, inclusive and high-quality childcare is available for families and caregivers as they return to work. The creation of the Canada-wide early learning and childcare system will help remedy the concerns of many.

Seniors have been particularly vulnerable during this pandemic and we have unfortunately seen the devastating impacts COVID-19 has had on our long-term care homes. My motion, M-106, passed in the House of Commons in 2017 called on the federal government to create the first National Seniors Strategy and paved the way to the creation of the first ministry dedicated to seniors. These steps set the tone for our government’s plan to improve the quality of life for seniors. 

We have committed to pursue better national standards for long-term care and implement severe consequences for owners who don’t comply. It is also paramount we implement a 10-per-cent increase in Old Age Security for Canadians over 75 and move forward with improvements to the Canada Pension Plan Survivor’s benefit. These measures amongst others will enhance the quality of life for our aging population. 

Nickel Belt – Greater Sudbury’s Indigenous communities have shown tremendous resilience in the face of this pandemic. The Throne Speech reaffirms our commitment to walk the shared path of reconciliation and accelerate our support to ensure we can prioritize better access to mental health services, wellness strategies and sustainable economic development initiatives for all Indigenous peoples. 

Although COVID-19 is our immediate threat, we must not forget that we are also facing a climate crisis. We must continue listening to experts and continue to aggressively commit ourselves to reducing emissions and protecting our environment. This will also be a key sector to help restart our economy and an opportunity for many Canadians to retrain and join the clean technology industry. 

Thank you to the many local youth and groups like Fridays For Future who inspire us to keep fighting for better policies that reduce pollution in pursuit of a cleaner tomorrow for all. 

This Throne Speech outlines a direction and offers broad lines to help us implement a framework to deliver on our commitments for individuals with disabilities, the self-employed, unemployed and small business owners. My hope is that opposition will work with our government to address the issues that are most important to residents rather than making personal attacks directed to the prime minister. We need to focus on the needs of Canadians and not party politics. 

I’m focused on providing solutions and ensuring Nickel Belt – Greater Sudbury communities are accounted for and a rural lens is applied when working towards solutions. Rural communities face an additional complexity in the recovery phase of the pandemic, as we navigate issues around broadband, proximity to testing centres and much more. This Throne Speech acknowledges these and so many other important elements that will help guide us to prosperity. 

Be reassured I will continue to work closely with small businesses, stakeholders, municipal governments, not-for-profit organizations, volunteers and residents from every corner of the riding to maximize our potential to come through this pandemic with new opportunities. Please remember to continue following public health measures and best practices to protect your health and the health of others. 

Our strength is in our ability to remain united. 

Marc Serré is the Liberal MP for Nickel Belt.




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