Prime Minister Stephen Harper will attend the special ceremony in the Senate chamber, where Governor General David Johnston will deliver the speech, which isn't expected to include new spending programs or tax cuts.
That's because the Conservative government is still battling a major budget deficit – more than $20 billion this year alone – and has promised to balance the books within three years. With an election looming in 2015, that doesn't leave the government much fiscal flexibility or time to get out of debt.
Instead, analysts are expecting a new emphasis on consumer rights, designed to appeal to a range of voters with a number of low-cost but popular measures. For example, smartphone owners should get more options when dealing with providers, and cable TV subscribers will likely get the right to choose which channels they want, instead of being forced to accept entire channel packages. The speech is also expected to include measures to narrow the disparity in prices between goods sold in Canada and the U.S.
And in keeping with the popular-but-low-cost theme, Harper's government will give honorary citizenship to Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani student who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Yousafzai, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was targeted because she is fighting for girls' rights to attend school.
Harper's government, in power for the last eight years, is reeling from a Senate scandal involving Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, two former journalists whose expense claims have been called into question. Harper is also facing a strong challenge from Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, whose popularity has so far survived the attack ads that so effectively marginalized past opposition leaders.
Other measures that are rumoured to be in the speech include rules for airlines that would make it harder for them to bump passengers because of overbooking, and new limits on credit card fees.