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Prime Minister’s Throne Speech recommits to Canada Water Agency


September 24, 2020
By Ground Water Canada

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Ottawa – In his Throne Speech on Sept. 23, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recommitted the federal government to addressing climate change, water management and drinking water improvements for First Nations.

Climate action will be a cornerstone of the federal government’s economic plans, the Prime Minister said. He promised to immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal and to legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“The Government will create a new Canada Water Agency to keep our water safe, clean, and well-managed.” –Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

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The government will launch a new fund to attract investments in making zero-emissions products and cut the corporate tax rate in half for these companies to create jobs and make Canada a world leader in clean technology.

The government promised to work with municipalities to expand urban parks and to protect a quarter of Canada’s land and a quarter of Canada’s oceans in five years, in part by using nature-based solutions to fight climate change, including planting two billion trees.

It committed to banning harmful single-use plastics next year, ensure more plastic is recycled and modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

On the subject of reconciliation, the Prime Minister promised to make additional resiliency investments to meet the clean drinking water commitment in First Nations communities.

The speech recommitted to prioritizing the management and protection of water. “When the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration was closed by a previous government, Canada lost an important tool to manage its waters,” the Prime Minister said. “The Government will create a new Canada Water Agency to keep our water safe, clean, and well-managed. The Government will also identify opportunities to build more resilient water and irrigation infrastructure.”

Continuing to grow Canada’s ocean economy to create opportunities for fishers and coastal communities, while advancing reconciliation and conservation objectives, also is on the government’s radar.

On the subject of reconciliation, the Prime Minister promised to make additional resiliency investments to meet the clean drinking water commitment in First Nations communities. The previous March 2021 deadline for ending long-term drinking water advisories was not mentioned in the speech. The overall status of long-term drinking water advisories on First Nations appears not to have been updated since February 2020.

Read the complete Throne Speech.