At the beginning of every new Parliament, there is the Speech from the Throne. On September 23, 2020, the second session of the 43rd Parliament opened. The Governor General read the speech. We learned what the Government of Canada intended to do for their time in power. Included in this speech was the following information.
"COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Canadians with disabilities and highlighted long-standing challenges. The Government will bring forward a Disability Inclusion Plan, which will have:
- A new Canadian Disability Benefit modelled after the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors;
- A robust employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities;
- And a better process to determine eligibility for Government disability programs and benefits.
Over the last six months, it has become clearer than ever why Canadians need a resilient health care system.
The Government will ensure that everyone – including in rural and remote areas – has access to a family doctor or primary care team. COVID-19 has also shown that our system needs to be more flexible and able to reach people at home. The Government will continue to expand capacity to deliver virtual health care.
The Government will also continue to address the opioid epidemic tearing through communities, which is an ongoing and worsening public health crisis. Additionally, the Government will further increase access to mental health resources. All Canadians should have the care they need when they need it. We will all be stronger for it.
The same goes for access to the medicine that keeps people healthy. Many Canadians who had drug plans through work lost this coverage when they were laid off because of the pandemic. So this is exactly the right moment to ramp up efforts to address that.
The Government remains committed to a national, universal pharmacare program and will accelerate steps to achieve this system including:
Through a rare-disease strategy to help Canadian families save money on high-cost drugs;
Establishing a national formulary to keep drug prices low;
And working with provinces and territories willing to move forward without delay."