WEDNESDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — Two very important speeches were made on Wednesday, one in B.C. and one in Ottawa.
By coincidence, both the B.C. Speech from the Throne and a federal budget speech were made the same day.
Throne speeches and budget speeches both tend to speak of how things should be and less about how we’re going to get there, and such was the case yesterday.
The Liberals’ throne speech even made a corny reference to a John F. Kennedy quote: “We choose to do this not because it will be easy, but because it is hard…”
Kennedy said it a half century ago, and was talking about putting a man on the moon. The throne speech instead talked about “grasping” opportunities for economic growth and facing up to challenges.
Just why we want economic and social challenges to be hard rather than easy is unclear.
The question in these speeches, though, is what’s in it for us, here at home. JFK aside, it’s usually not too difficult to read through the text and pick out promises that will have a direct impact on our doorstep.
Not so much this time.
The throne speech did make reference to the Liberals’ commitment to mining, but who knows where Ajax fits into those plans because it’s subject to a bureaucratic review before any decision is made, and that will be sometime down the road.
It also talked about the importance of the forest industry, which is still a big job generator in this part of the province.
It spoke much more of the hoped-for windfalls from LNG and the importance of China to our economy. And there were references to technology, education and controlled spending — things that will affect everyone but nothing specific to the Thompson-Nicola.
As for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget speech in Ottawa, it, too, talked about trees and rocks: “… our government is promoting safe, responsible resource development that is not bogged down by unnecessary red tape.”
And then there’s the “consumers first agenda,” cigarette taxes, student loans, rural broadband and so on. Again, pretty general, maybe even more general than usual. It’s been called by critics the “do-nothing” budget.
What either of these speeches means to us here in Kamloops will, perhaps, come clear through actions rather than the words we heard yesterday.
As JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you….”