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Throne speech signals new First Nations era

The 15-minute throne speech, entitled Making Real Change Happen, didn’t contain any surprises to onlookers, but reiterated Trudeau’s and his party’s commitment to a number of campaign promises: tax cuts for the middle class, a greater focus on global peacekeeping and health reform with the provinces were among the key priorities.

The newly elected Liberal government is heralding what it hopes will be a new era of mutual co-operation and respect with Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has formally opened the new session of Parliament, setting into motion plans made during the country’s election campaign while acknowledging challenging economic times. He says his support for the legalization of marijuana is influenced by the fate of his late brother, who was charged with drug possession for having “a tiny amount” of weed before his death in an avalanche in 1998.

The formal announcement, delivered just hours after fresh data showed the economy was struggling, made no mention of whether the Liberals would stick to their campaign pledge to limit budget deficits to C$10 billion (£5 billion) a year.

However, it also signaled a return to a policy the previous government was more lukewarm about.

The government committed during the election to working with provinces and territories on carbon prices and emissions-reduction targets. To date, the Liberals haven’t said what they will be because of the need to consult with provincial and territorial premiers.

Ambrose did say she was encouraged by a promise of legislation to address survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault and by the commitment to improve relations with First Nations.

The new Parliament faces its first Question Period on Monday. Then the House will rise by Friday and not return until January the 25th.



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