Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government will unveil an “ambitious green agenda” in the throne speech scheduled to be delivered later this month.
“We know the world is going towards greater energy efficiency. We know the world is going towards lower carbon We know that the world is moving towards more renewable energy,” he said. “This is the way the world is going.”
Trudeau made the comments from Ottawa during an exclusive virtual interview with Global News’ Sophie Lui on Wednesday.
Earlier that day, the prime minister met online with business leaders in B.C., focusing on green economic recovery efforts as the country continues to grapple with fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Western Canada has been especially hard-hit by the pandemic as travel restrictions have sent global oil prices tumbling.
Read more: Bill Morneau steps down as finance minister
Trudeau said green recovery is about “long-term recovery,” and that the country needs to be “leading the way” on the shift to renewable energy and addressing the climate crisis.
He said the path forward must include people working in industries that will be affected by such a shift, but that Canada should seize the opportunity that COVID-19 has created.
“We have an opportunity to go green. We have an opportunity to be fairer, to reduce barriers for women’s participation, (and) Indigenous participation in the workforce,” he said.
“There are so many things that we can look at as an opportunity through this tragedy of COVID to do bigger things.”
The green agenda will be presented to Parliament later this month, he added.
“And parliamentarians can decide, because we’re in a minority situation, whether this government has the support to move forward on this new agenda that, quite frankly, nobody ran an election on a year ago because we didn’t know about COVID,” Trudeau said.
“This is a completely different situation.”
Trudeau had asked Governor General Julie Payette to prorogue Parliament back on Aug. 18, effectively halting all of its business.
After the throne speech later this month, opposition parties could trigger a non-confidence vote in the Trudeau government.
If a vote is called, the Liberals, who found themselves 13 seats short of a majority in the 2019 election, would need the support of at least one opposition party to keep power.
The move to prorogue came as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, and amid an ethics probe into the government’s now-defunct contract with WE Charity over a volunteer student aid program.
Watch the full interview here: