by Bonnie Wurst
After proroguing the government in September, the fourth time since becoming Prime Minister in 2006, Stephen Harper’s government kicked off the new session of Parliament on October 16th with a Throne Speech. But I’m not clear on whether it was delivered with the seat up or the seat down.
I’m no political analyst nor an economic expert, but somehow I feel like a lot of non-issue stuff has been dumped on Canadians. Maybe it has to do with too many Pro-rogies.
Vague promises and pledges were made on many issues like the economy, transportation, crime, cyberbullying – but nothing was defined about how they intended to achieve their apparent goals. On Senate reform, or should I say the Duffy, Brazeau and Wallin scandals, they maintained their stance, ‘The Senate has to be reformed or vanish’. This has been flushed around for quite some time now and they clearly need a good plumber.
Nothing about the real concerns of most Canadians like the cost of food, education, gas and energy, health care, climate change and saving money to retire – very serious issues for the majority of the population.
To be fair, there were some positive things rolled out on the paper of the speech which are far more in touch with the pulse and hearts of many people:
– Like, enough already about cutting funding to the arts! We can use the money to continue the search for the remains of Sir John Franklin and his crew who went missing in 1847 while in search of the Northwest Passage by ship. Maybe they have a plan to resurrect the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror ships to add to our naval fleet.
– Keeping those convicted to a life sentence in prison actually in prison for life. No brainer for those incarcerated for atrocious crimes and clearly not candidates for rehabilitation. But with their controversial passage of the C-10 Omnibus Crime Bill last year, how do they intend to accommodate a larger inmate population? They dropped their project of building more prisons and instead announced the building of 2700 new beds at an estimated cost of $78.6 million – and at the same announced $688 million in spending cuts to Canada’s Public Safety Department. Even though statistics show crime has been steadily declining over the past two decades, with the new European free trade agreement – there is always IKEA!
– ‘Quanto’s Law’ – named for the recent killing of an Edmonton police dog, is an excellent initiative to protect animals in the police service. But to heck with other abused animals or the horrifying puppy mills dotting the rest of the Canadian landscape for now.
– Reducing cellphone roaming costs. Another great initiative – for those who can afford to roam far enough away to actually incur roaming costs.
– Forcing cable networks to unbundle channels and give consumers more choice and control about what they want to watch. It’s been a long time coming and another excellent initiative – and sure to be a hit with those who don’t roam enough. They would be able to switch the exciting parliamentary channel for more reality TV! At least on Survivor they get to see what the tribe members are really scheming behind all the posturing.
And my personal fav:
– A promise to amend the ‘Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act’ and allowing our booze to travel from one province to another, right across Canada! YES!!! Now we’re talking priorities. I can just see the cases of Molson rolling west down the Trans Canada, while the wine of Ontario’s Niagara region flows east. Big savings on both sides – and more people roaming! Simply intelligent by design.
While writing the speech and sitting on the throne, one has to wonder – just what were they smoking? At least Justin Trudeau admitted he inhaled. Was the speech written in porcelain or was this just a ‘courtesy flush’? Only time will tell because right now, it’s just too vague to know.
Bonnie Wurst is a freelance journalist, a weekly columnist for the Montreal Times, a novelist, ghost writer (not the scary kind) and humorist. Her book “Damaged Goods Re-Stitched” can be found on Amazon.com. Bonnie is available for speaking engagements and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org