Wednesday’s Throne Speech by the Liberals was “nothing new” according to Rob Morrison, Kootenay-Columbia MP, making it “impossible” to support.
After Parliament was prorogued on August 18th, the Liberals returned with a new Throne Speech as to their plans for the months and years ahead. Following the nearly hour-long speech, both the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois said they wouldn’t support it, while the NDP have still yet to clearly vocalize their stance. In the coming days, the parties will vote on whether to support the Throne Speech or not, and if there isn’t majority approval, a federal election will be forced.
Morrison shared similar views to Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party Leader as well as Candice Bergen, Deputy Leader and Gérard Deltell, Opposition House Leader.
“Well there certainly was a lot of hype, but there wasn’t a lot of action and I guess that’s the most disappointing part is we expected to have a plan of where we’re going forward,” Morrison told local Cranbrook media on Thursday. “He’s had so much time to develop it and he came up empty. It’s really hard to support a Throne Speech that has nothing in it, an hour of nothing.”
? BREAKING? Trudeau’s Throne Speech leaves too many Canadians behind.
It’s time for a different type of politics. Are you with me? ??? pic.twitter.com/4QvhD7ywz6
— Erin O’Toole (@erinotoole) September 24, 2020
According to Morrison, Canadians are worried about COVID-19 and that there wasn’t any tangible action around increased testing from Trudeau and the Liberals in the highly anticipated Throne Speech and National Address by the Prime Minister. The Kootenay-Columbia MP pointed out that the important facets of the region were also neglected.
“I don’t know how more out of touch this is,” added Morrison, shedding light to the fact that there was noting about health transfer between provinces, and nothing about veterans. “He failed to mention what’s really important in our riding especially about our mining sector, about agriculture, about forestry, the energy sector – not even mentioned, and that’s critical. People want jobs and he just didn’t deliver.”
While the Throne Speech did deliver a promise that the Liberals would create one-million, Morrison said it is just an empty promise by the federal minority government.
“It’s just puff, I mean look at our economy, there’s nothing there, so I’m not too sure,” Morrison told MyNelsonNow.com. “People want jobs, they want legitimate jobs, I truly believe they do not want to be home on CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit), they want to get out working again and get their jobs back.”
MORE: Throne Speech promises jobs, expanded wage subsidy, national childcare system (Sep. 23, 2020)
While the Conservatives and Morrison were clear they thought the Throne Speech lacked substance, both wanted to see the Liberals bring the country together and eliminate any “alienation” felt by Canada’s westernmost provinces and territories.
“When Erin O’Toole was first elected as our leader, he reached out to the Prime Minister and said we need national unity, we don’t need western alienation, he didn’t address that and that’s really disappointing,” said Morrison.
The Kootenay-Columbia MP was asked if there is a balance that can be struck between an effective response to COVID-19 and efficient economic recovery. Morrison believes it fully revolves around quick testing, that could be done in minutes, rather than days.
“If we had those testing and we had people coming to Canada like international flights, test ’em, if they test positive – 14-day quarantine, if they test negative – out they go, which would open up our economy.”
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Access to effective testing was a major note Morrison made. Another, was having federal committees return to session after Parliament was prorogued in mid-August.
“That then will allow us to get access to the corruption and the ethical behaviour, especially with the WE foundation. I think that’s the next step for us to go. We want accountability, we want the government to be accountable and right now we’re not getting it.”
As for the possibility of a federal election should the parties all refuse to support the Throne Speech, Morrison believes it is up to Trudeau to steer the country in the right direction. Bergen and Deltell made it very clear the Conservatives aren’t going to support the Throne Speech, the Bloc Quebecois did the same, so the fate of an election at this time appears to be in the hands of Jagmeet Singh and the NDP.
“Without us getting into the ethics violations, the corruption that’s happening, we cannot move forward,” said Morrison. “For example, the NDP, if they are supporting the corruption and the ethical violations, it’s going to be difficult to work with them.”
At this current stage, the NDP hold the balance as to whether Canada will have a federal election or not, but it’s expected to be several days before the parties vote on the Throne Speech. By that time, the NDP position could be more clear and other parties like the Bloc may sway their opinion as well, potentially shifting the political landscape.
Today, the government’s throne speech was full of promises we’ve heard before
A throne speech is just words on paper & this PM has shown us that his actions don’t match his empty words
It doesn’t need to be this way
New Democrats will keep fighting for you & the help you need pic.twitter.com/qTzmV10o1d
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) September 23, 2020
“The Liberals have done nothing more than waste six weeks so that they could hide from their ethical scandals,” added Morrison. “They are now asking Canadians to ignore those issues and instead support promises of increased taxation.”
“The only way we can pay back the debt is through taxes and our debt’s what, $400-billion? When you start having to pay that back, that is going to cost money and so it’s not going to go away, it just doesn’t go away and that’s the reality. We’re going to have to pay it back, it’s going to hurt, it’s going to take a long time and it’s going to hurt.”
Morrison believes that under the leadership of Erin O’Toole, the Conservatives could put forward a plan that, “keeps Canadians safe, protects jobs and gets our country back on track.”