An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IT’S HARD NOT TO FEEL cynical after a Throne Speech. It was reasonable to expect the one delivered yesterday might be different, given the political crisis in Ottawa.
But the only things really different about it were its excessive length and its longer than usual list of promises. Call it the Kitchen Sink Speech.
Women’s and indigenous rights, climate action, the economy — nothing was left out. There will be the usual “bold action” and, yes, “the middle class and those working hard to join it” will be protected. Again. Above all, we must work together.
The over-all theme was the need to keep spending our way through the pandemic. As the Speech said, “This is no time for austerity.”
It’s impossible to do justice to an hour-long Speech in two minutes, so let’s hit on just a couple of favourite annoyances.
Take rural broadband, for example. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a government promise high-speed Internet for all Canadians I’d be able to build my own broadband tower.
Rural broadband in Canada is in a terrible state. There are vast areas that receive none at all, or service that barely crawls.
So, forgive me if I don’t hold my breath waiting for it.
Then there’s Trudeau’s refusal to drop his wacky scheme to offload gun control onto local governments. Yep, there it was: “Giving municipalities the ability to further restrict or ban handguns.” Please, give it up, Justin.
Opposition leaders claim there wasn’t enough in the Speech. The opposite is true.
It should have stuck to the much clearer message of Trudeau’s own speech later in the day — that the second wave is upon us. It could have focused on getting our economy through it, and on those million new jobs he’s promising.
It could have laid out a clear path for that. Instead it got lost in the weeds of wanting to do too much.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.