Ottawa (CNN)Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set out his government's agenda Wednesday in an exhaustive Speech from the Throne, which outlines the government's agenda for the future. In it, he vowed to help Canada emerge from the coronavirus pandemic healthier, wealthier and greener.
Trudeau's Throne Speech reads like a fairy tale. Can he make it reality?
It was a Throne Speech unlike any other seen in this country, at a critical time for Trudeau's government. With daily, positive cases of the coronavirus doubling in the last month, Trudeau needs to convince Canadians his government has what it takes to guide them through it.
And Trudeau's job is on the line. If he can't get his agenda passed in parliament, his government could fall.
In addition to highlighting the government's priorities, the Speech from the Throne, as it is called, opens a new session of Parliament. Trudeau said he suspended Canada's parliament in August in order to 'reset' his agenda as his last Throne Speech in December could have never envisioned such an historical health and economic crisis.
Trudeau's government drafted the speech, but it was read by the Governor General, former astronaut Julie Payette, as the Queen's representative in Canada.
This speech was unprecedented for many reasons. For starters, two of Canada's opposition leaders weren't there to hear it. Conservative leader Erin O'Toole, and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, have tested positive for the coronavirus and are still in quarantine.
Far fewer members of parliament and senators were in attendance than usual, and all wore masks and were physically distant. Trudeau, seated to Payette's right, wore a mask for the entire 55-minute speech.
The speech declared that Trudeau's government would "trust science to lead the fight until a safe and effective vaccine becomes available." It laid out four pillars of Trudeau's pandemic plan: save lives; support people and businesses through the crisis for as long as it takes; rebuild the country to be stronger and more resilient; and fight discrimination and racism, and promote equality.
Key to Trudeau's healthcare strategy will be to pick up the slack where provincial governments are clearly facing challenges. He promised to boost funding in the areas of testing, long-term care for seniors and support for daycare centers and schools. He also pledged to create a national daycare program and a national, subsidized drug program.