Local MP Damien Kurek said the recent Throne Speech was very short on strategy and long on dishing out previously-announced campaign initiatives.
“It was vague, it was expensive and it’s very intrusive into provincial jurisdictions,” said Kurek. “It was more than 2,600 words, and it said a lot – but a lot of it was about things that have already been announced. A lot of it was former Liberal election promises from 2015 and 2019.
“There were a few things that were COVID-related, but largely they were things that had already been announced in much greater detail,” he explained.
Kurek said he later discussed with his own colleagues that they had waited five weeks with a prorogued parliament expecting that, “We would have a clear vision for what the future of our country would look like, whether we would have agreed with it or not.
“Certainly, I didn’t see that.”
As to the prorogued Parliament in general, Kurek said the move was and is very concerning.
“The prorogation of Parliament is a perfectly legitimate tool – there is debate about when it is used and how it is used. And that will continue for as long as western democracy exists,” he said. “I’ve seen it used in many circumstances, but in this case you have the Prime Minister slamming the door shut on committee work specifically that was related to investigations into his conduct,” he said. “That is incredibly troubling, and I’m not aware of another scenario where that has been the case.
“I didn’t disagree with the Prime Minister saying that he needed to do a legislative re-set,” he said, adding that the complete shut-down of Parliament didn’t have to happen in the meantime.
Kurek also pointed to the Throne Speech’s mention that the federal government will be working without delay with ‘willing’ provinces and territories.
“As soon as you say ‘willing’ what does that mean? Does that mean that because there are conservative premiers, that the (government) will be less willing to work with them….that is incredibly concerning language that demonstrates that we have a government that certainly doesn’t have the best interests of all part of the country,” he said.
Another concern Kurek noticed was how Trudeau mentioned how the country has never been more united.
“Spending anytime in Alberta would demonstrate that that is purely coming from somebody who is so out of touch with the reality of what is happening across Canada,” he said.
“We need leadership in this country, and I’m not seeing it from this government or this prime minister,” he said. “We have not seen a budget, but even worse than that we haven’t seen an economic update, and we are now almost half-way into the 2020 fiscal year,” he said.
“We also seem to have an unwillingness for our government to be transparent,” he said, referring to specific economic details on the nation’s financial health as well as the soaring levels of national debt. “It’s a troubling trend we find ourselves in.”
Kurek said a confidence vote on the speech is planned in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation also expressed concern about the agenda proposed by the Trudeau government in the speech as well, “Which gave no indication it plans to dial down spending, lay out a framework to right the fiscal ship, or ensure a broad-based economic recovery,” noted a release.
“The deficit is closing in on $400 billion and there was zero mention of any plan to hit the brakes on spending,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “We can’t carry on like this for much longer, and yet the Trudeau government seems to meet this deteriorating fiscal situation with a shrug.”
The federal debt is on track to reach $1 trillion before the end of the year, with more debt incurred in this fiscal year than in the previous 22 years.
“We look forward to seeing the fiscal update before the end of 2020, and encourage the government to exercise greater prudence with taxpayer dollars than they have with their lofty rhetoric.”