Does the Throne Speech Make the Grade?

On Wednesday, September 23rd, our government delivered its highly anticipated Throne Speech to unveil post-pandemic recovery plans. You can find the throne speech here.

This moment in history is an unprecedented chance to #BuildBackBetter and insist on a #JustRecoveryforAll and a livable future.

This means acting on the climate crisis and no longer funding destructive industry. It means helping workers and communities during a Just Transition to a circular economy of care. It means acting for racial justice and insisting that people and planet are no longer harmed and devalued. We must have a greener, healthier and equitable future! The time is now. 

As part of the week for climate action, spearheaded by Fridays for Future Toronto (FFFTO) and culminating in the Global Day of Climate ActionToronto350 has weighed in on how the Throne Speech stacks up next to a Green & Just Recovery, and issued the Report Card below. 


A grade of "A" would meet expectations and far exceed them, "B" meets the expectations, "C" meets some but falls short and an "F doesn't meet any.

See an excerpt from our Report Card Comments below.

1) Put people's HEALTH & WELLBEING first. No exceptions.

• Protects the Environment: GRADE C

The Climate Crisis is a health crisis! As the throne speech reinforced, “Canadians [know] climate change threatens our health, way of life, and planet. They want climate action now, and that is what the Government will continue to deliver.” So far though, the Government actually hasn’t delivered enough climate action and commitments fall short of what is needed to protect the environment.

Some of the commitments in the speech, following the acknowledgment “of the importance of nature” include:

  • expand urban green spaces
  • meet prior commitment to protect a quarter of the country’s lands and waters
  • use nature-based solutions to address the climate crisis (i.e. fulfill program to plant 2 billion trees)

While these are important steps for ensuring an intact ecosystem and protecting peoples’ health and wellbeing, we need significant action to protect biodiversity and create nature-based carbon sinks like those represented by the Boreal Forest and agroecology. The speech doesn’t fully address industrial practises that harm nature. It also does not acknowledge Indigenous land stewardship....

For more comments and Watch Party Asides see Report Card Comments!

Stay tuned for:

  • Additional Responses
  • Video Response: Parent-Teacher Interview
  • Printable posters to share in your neighbourhood
  • Social media graphics & posts

Click here for more on TO350’s Grading Touchstones framed by the Just Recovery Principles.

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