MP Terry Dowdall’s Response to the Thorne Speech

I’ve taken the time to reflect on yesterday’s Throne Speech and give it another read to see if it really reflected any of the priorities I’ve heard in Simcoe—Grey.

I am disappointed to confirm that it does not. We were told that when the government prorogued, it was because it needed a reset and it would come back with a plan for COVID and for the economy. This was not a reset; it was a recycle. A recycle of campaign commitments made by Liberals dating back to the 1970s. We heard nothing about a plan to tackle COVID-19.The government has no plan to balance Canada’s books. Nor does it have a plan to get our economy going again. In fact, none of the priorities of my constituents were given more than a passing mention.

High-speed internet, which has been a top issue for people was mentioned twice, but without details. We’re told Canada will “accelerate” connectivity, but there is no mention of how, when, cost, or how much longer rural Canada will still need to wait for high-speed internet. Let’s also remember, this is a Liberal promise, so let’s not get our hopes up. We deserve a real plan for high-speed internet.

Farmers in Simcoe—Grey have been hit hard. From big increases in costs because of the Carbon Tax, to lack of workers, depressed markets, and lower consumer spending, it has been tough. Dairy farmers even had to dump milk down the drain because it couldn’t be transported. But the Throne Speech mentions farmers only twice. Once to recognize that they feed us, and second to recognize them as partners in fighting climate change. But our farmers do get a big brand-new government agency called the Canada Water Agency, which somehow is supposed to help farmers. Only a Liberal government in Ottawa would think a new government agency is what farmers really need.

This pandemic took the hardest toll on Seniors. Many Seniors sat at home, isolated from friends and family, watching everyone else get support from this government while they were given crumbs. This Throne Speech did nothing to change that. Instead of a plan for Seniors, the government talks about increasing OAS when seniors hit 75 – a promise it made years ago but has not kept. Worse, I fear Seniors will become a jurisdictional ping pong ball as the government increasingly infringes on provincial jurisdiction.

In terms of supporting small businesses, the Throne Speech was a letdown, with the only bright spot being the extension of CEWS. The quickest and most simple fixes were not even mentioned. Fixing CECRA by allowing small businesses to access funds directly was not mentioned.Business-owners with a chequing account were told a month ago that changes will be coming to CEBA so they can qualify. But the Throne Speech was silent on that too.

Unless you are a fan of platitudes and recycled Liberal promises, there is just not a lot in the Throne Speech to give Canadians confidence in this government. The government had an opportunity to fix some problems, create a real plan but it has failed. In fact, prorogation has actually put us further behind than before.We need a real plan, not recycled promises.

I will be voting against the Throne Speech.