CPA's Response to the Speech from the Throne

Background
On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon opened the 44th session of Parliament by reading the Speech from the Throne titled, “Building a Resilient Economy: A Cleaner & Healthier Future for Our Kids.”

The Speech from the Throne details the Government’s priorities, key areas of interest, planned initiatives and what it intends to accomplish as a minority Parliament.

Key Areas of Interest for Physiotherapists
For physiotherapists, the Speech from the Throne included an area directly related to health and well-being about “Building a healthier today and tomorrow.” In addition, there was a direct reference to acknowledging the hard work of those in health care who “keep us safe and healthy.”
The section on health included the following details:

  • The Government of Canada is focused on getting the pandemic under control via vaccination
  • There is a need to strengthen the healthcare system, and other public supports for all Canadians (e.g., seniors, veterans, persons with disabilities, vulnerable members of our communities, and those who have faced systemic discrimination).
  • There is a strong commitment to improving accessibility, care in rural communities, reducing delayed procedures, supporting mental health and treatment, long-term care, and data collection.

The Speech from the Throne notably included that they “will work collaboratively with provinces, territories, and other partners to deliver real results on what Canadians need.”
Additional health & well-being areas included:

  • The need to focus on mental health and physical well-being as they are inseparable
  • The pandemic and the importance of vaccination
  • The benefits of COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and doses for children from age 5 to 11
  • Canada’s commitment to working with its partners to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines and other resources.
  • Proactive work on climate change.

Business & Employment

  • The goal is to get employment levels back to pre-pandemic

Reconciliation

  • The Government of Canada will act and move on the path of Reconciliation.
  • They will also accelerate their work with Indigenous partners to address the national tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People.
  • As the Government of Canada responds to Calls to Action, the Government will create a national monument to honour survivors
  • Canada’s Reconciliation approach will utilize a whole of government approach.

Social Determinants of Health, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • The Government will work towards ending systemic racism, sexism, discrimination, misconduct, and abuse in their core institutions
  • The Government will invest in the empowerment of Black and racialized Canadians and Indigenous Peoples
  • There is a commitment to ensure that Canadian communities are safe, healthy, and inclusive
  • The Government will work to address affordable housing and chronic homelessness
  • They will work to build the first-ever Canada-wide early learning and childcare system.
  • Government is aware of the unacceptable rise in gender-based violence and will commit to a 10-year National Action Plan.
  • The Government will continue to support the official language of minority communities and protect and promote French outside and inside of Quebec

Throne Speech Linkages to CPA’s Previous Work

The CPA is proud to see our areas of focus from our 2021 Federal Election recommendations included, such as:

  • Improved health access in rural and remote areas.
  • Working to ensure that needs of the North are met.

Next Steps for CPA

  • The CPA will monitor the debate stemming from the content of the Throne Speech.
  • We will also do proactive outreach to Members of Parliament in the coming weeks to establish strong government and advocacy relations to advance the needs of physiotherapists in Canada.
  • We will continue to work from a non-partisan approach to advance our CPA recommendations to all parties.

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