COVID-19 Update for September 23 2020 – 3:55pm

Speech from the Throne

Today the Speech from the Throne launched the second session of the 43rd Parliament of Canada.

COVID-19 was, naturally, a central theme, and the Throne Speech opened by acknowledging the hardships that COVID-19 has caused, for Canadians and for people around the world. The Governor General specifically mentioned those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic: women, radicalized individuals, frontline workers, low-income workers and seniors.

Four Foundations

The speech outlined four main foundations:

  1. Fight the pandemic and save lives.
  2. Support people and businesses through the crisis as long as it lasts – whatever it takes.
  3. Build a stronger and more resilient Canada.
  4. Stand up for who we are as Canadians.

Major commitments in the speech included:

  1. National childcare system.
  2. Extending wage subsidies until next summer.
  3. National long-term care standards.
  4. Accelerating creation of national pharmacare.

The government’s recovery phase will include a two-year effort focused on infrastructure, energy-efficient retrofits, clean energy, rural broadband and affordable housing.

The Throne Speech does not extend the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which is set to expire later this month. Instead, it says the recently announced enhancements to Employment Insurance will be the focus of the federal income support plan. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – which flows through employers to help cover staffing costs – will be extended to next summer.

Other steps to bridge vulnerable businesses to the other side of the pandemic this fall will include:

  • Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account to help businesses with fixed costs.
  • Improving the Business Credit Availability Program.
  • Introducing further support for industries that have been the hardest hit, including travel and tourism, hospitality, and cultural industries like the performing arts.

The speech also had a section called “Building back better – a resiliency agenda for the middle class” focused on addressing gaps in social systems, creating a stronger workforce and taking action on extreme risks from climate change.

For the full speech, click here.

We hope you are finding these COVID-19 updates useful. In addition to trying to keep on top of the fast-changing situation, Enterprise is also working to support local charities during these challenging times. If you are able, your contributions to this effort would be deeply appreciated.

To donate, please click on the organization below:

Many thanks.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

The Enterprise Team

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