Friday October 15, 2021 | NATIONAL
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
In the wake of an election that met with criticism around being necessary or not during a raging fourth wave of the COVID pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will swear in his new cabinet on October 26 and the 44th Parliament will commence in the House of Commons in Ottawa on November 22.
Making the announcement this morning in a news release, Trudeau emphasized that the “Cabinet will remain gender balanced and will continue to deliver for Canadians and find real solutions to the real challenges of today and tomorrow”.
So far, the only confirmed member of cabinet is Chrystia Freeland who continues on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, as announced last month.
Highlights & priorities:
The statement from the prime minister’s office says the new Throne Speech will “lay out the government’s progressive plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and build a better future for everyone”.
Trudeau’s statement highlights vaccination against COVID, bringing in $10-a-day child care, re-introducing legislation to ban conversion therapy, moving ahead with 10-day paid sick leave for all federally regulated workers.
On housing the certainty is less firm, saying the new cabinet will “get to work on putting home ownership back in reach for Canadians”.
Accelerating climate action “to build a cleaner country and create new middle class jobs” is also listed, followed by a statement to “continue to work with Indigenous partners and communities to walk the shared path of reconciliation”.
The prime minister has “reached out to the opposition leaders to discuss the priorities of Canadians”, with that set to take place early next week.
Vaccination for MPs:
“Among the first orders of business will be working with all parties to ensure all members of parliament in the House of Commons are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “Canadians expect their elected representatives to lead by example in the fight against the virus, and the prime minister will be arising this with other leaders.”
There are 338 MPs elected to the House of Commons. All parties represented in the House of Commons have mandated their MPs to be vaccinated, except the Conservatives.
Final seat count after the September 20, 2021 election: Liberals 160, Conservatives 119, Bloc Quebecois 32, NDP 25, Greens 2.