On September 30, I rose in the House with my reply to the Speech From the Throne.
Some of my key observations included:
- The Speech should have been entitled, "Not a Time for Austerity" which is a line from the speech, but also the central theme. This speech is about continued massive spending, whether helpful or not.
- Clearly the priority for any government today is to address the global pandemic and minimize the toll it is taking on people.
- Governments must also have a plan to mitigate the damage from the shut down. In particular, government should be removing the structural impediments to those industries that have been hit unusually hard and may take years to recover. We see no such plan in this speech.
- Canadians need clarity on how we are going to emerge from this crisis.
- While we understand that governments had to move quickly, there are many corrections that need to be made. The government threw money at the wall to see what would stick. In fact, spending amounted to twice the amount lost. Many programs completely missed the mark. Even in a pandemic, results matter.
- We need to take those lessons and make a plan to move forward. That isn't austerity. That is just common sense.
- Canada has been spending beyond our capacity every year since this government took office. As a consequence, we entered this pandemic unprepared, already carrying massive debt.
- The government's theme of "Build Back Better" is an overreach. The slogan is beyond trite. It is vague but costly, and there is no anticipated accountability for outcomes. In fact, it is a plan to transfer wealth from the productive parts of the economy to special interests which are favoured by this government.
- And finally, the government feels it needs to retrain Canada's accomplished scientists, engineers and technicians, while claiming to "follow the science". We already have people well trained in following the science, who are global leaders in Canada's sustainable and accountable natural resource industries, industries that produce much of the wealth this government is planning to reallocate.