The Liberals’ Speech from the Throne was intended to be a plan for Canada to get through COVID and our economy back on track. It failed miserably on both by not addressing the many challenges facing our communities and country. The Speech, full of platitudes and rehashed promises, laid out big spending ideas hoping to shift attention away from Liberal corruption and scandals. It offered no implementation plan and little hope. It could have been an opportunity to unite Canada.
Conservatives, Premiers, and millions of Canadians asked Trudeau to acknowledge and address western alienation. Not only was western alienation not mentioned, he went so far as to call it “crazy” while speaking in French in the House of Commons. His exclusion and dismissive language only fuel the idea that in Trudeau’s Canada, the west is insignificant.
Premiers reiterated their need for additional healthcare support and sought a long-term commitment from the federal government. Instead of a pledge to work with and support provinces, the Liberals are offering an “Ottawa Knows Best” approach to interfere in the jurisdiction of the provinces in healthcare, housing and social supports.
Key sectors like farming and energy were again ignored. Trudeau instead committed to re-training Canadians in high tech, “Knowledge Economy” jobs. Small businesses across the country were hoping to see how Canada would re-open our economy and help get Canadians back to work. Most Canadians don’t want more government hand outs, they want to work.
Our local communities have job-creating, shovel-ready infrastructure projects. They are just waiting for federal and provincial funding to start investing in water, wastewater, rural broadband, roads, bridges, and much more. Any Throne Speech commitments for infrastructure projects had no timelines, nor any new commitments to help cash-strapped municipalities.
Current and former Parliamentary Budget Officers, as well as business leaders from across the country, have called for a plan to get spending under control. Canada has never taken on this amount of debt, borrowing $5 billion per week. Experts and public servants alike call it unsustainable. The Liberals’ promise of a fiscal update in a few months, combined with more excessive spending, will lead Canada into a fiscal crisis and put vital social support systems like healthcare and employment insurance at risk. Endless borrowing is not a path out of problems – as we all know. It results in even higher taxes and cuts to services.
Canadians want leaders that put our country ahead of political interests. The Liberals ignored this too. Rather than a plan all Canadians could support, they outlined a plan they hope will get them re-elected. Canadians want hope restored, prosperity rebuilt, our country and communities protected, provincial imbalances eliminated, quality of life improved and to make Canadian unity a priority. The Throne Speech missed the opportunity to do any of that.
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