Scheer says Throne Speech shows Trudeau ‘hasn’t learned a thing’, proposes amendment

Elias Hubbard
December 9, 2019

The second day of the 43rd Parliament for Trudeau's diminished, minority government gave Conservatives their first chance to respond to Liberals' roadmap for the legislative session, where Scheer broached matters facing the nation that the Throne speech omitted.

Justin Trudeau ushered in a new era of minority Liberal rule Thursday with a throne speech brimming with humility, goodwill and promises of collaboration with opposition parties whose support he needs to ensure his government's survival.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said his party's 32 MPs will support it, despite serious reservations about its content. But Canada's history tells us otherwise, ' Governor General Julie Payette - head of state Queen Elizabeth's representative in Ottawa - said in a speech she delivered on behalf of the prime minister.

"We know that we are inextricably bound to the same space-time continuum and on board the same planetary space ship".

"The entire point of the carbon tax is to make essentials more expensive". The Liberals will need the support of at least one of those two parties to pass legislation and survive confidence votes.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reiterated his call for a national single-payer pharmacare program.

The government has also already given notice of a motion enabling debate on what Trudeau has said will be his first order of business: following through on a campaign promise to raise the basic personal income tax exemption to $15,000 for those earning less than $147,000.

Moreover, the speech emphasized that the government "is open to new ideas" from opposition parties.

The speech was more about tone than substance, attempting to demonstrate to Canadians that Trudeau's Liberals - reduced to 157 seats, 13 shy of a majority, on October 21 - have heard the message sent by voters after a particularly nasty, hyper-partisan campaign. "And with goodwill, humility and a willingness to collaborate, you can do just that".

In his own response to the throne speech, Blanchet took pains to speak briefly, in English, directly to the people of Alberta and Saskatchewan, saying the Bloc and all of Quebec will be the first to help the western provinces make the transition to an economy that is no longer dependent on fossil fuels. Net zero means greenhouse gas emissions are reduced so much that the remaining emissions can be absorbed by natural or technological means, leaving none to remain trapped in the atmosphere.

"After many years of trying and failing by previous governments, we're moving forward with building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion", Trudeau said.

The government has not been able to accelerate the construction of pipelines needed to get the crude to global markets.

Beyond his full-throated support for the natural resources sector, Scheer called on the Liberal government to endorse large sections of the last Conservative election platform - returning to a balanced budget, developing a more "disciplined" foreign policy to more closely align Canada with Israel and protecting Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic.

Canada's economic and energy woes, reemerging separatist sentiment in Quebec and the west as well, and kowtowing to China - amongst other perceived foreign affairs failures - punctuated Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer's attacks of Thursday's Throne speech.

Trudeau said the Liberal proposal is similar to a universal tax break proposed by Scheer but fixes one "small hiccup" in the Conservative plan that would have allowed the wealthiest Canadians to benefit the most - a feature the Liberals had lambasted during the campaign.

"The Government of China continues with an expansionist agenda that is threatening Hong Kong's vibrant democracy and, indeed, the safety and security of the people of Hong Kong themselves", said Scheer, questioning Canada's $256 million investment in the Chinese-controlled Asian Infrastructure Bank.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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