OTTAWA – MP Bruce Hyer says that the Harper Government is passing up its opportunity to make life for affordable for Canadians, to improve pensions, and to tackle key issues like poverty or the extreme weather impacts of climate change. “The latest Speech from the Throne was an opportunity for the government to chart a different course, to tackle issues that are important to Canadians,” said Hyer after Governor-General David Johnston delivered the speech before the Senate. “But what was said in the speech indicates that Mr. Harper is barreling ahead with his pet projects, like a crime omnibus bill and more prisons, an interventionist military abroad, deep security integration with the US, and tax handouts to large corporations.”
“I was disappointed that crucial issues facing Canadians, such as poverty, strengthening pensions, or climate change weren’t even mentioned,” said Hyer, “There were some things I liked, such as a call to service for volunteerism and going part-way on the NDP idea to increase the GIS for seniors. They also said they want to cut our record deficit , and I can’t wait to see how they square that fiscal priority in Monday’s Budget with spending billions on megaprisons, new military bases overseas, and public welfare to big corporations.”
“New Democrats have a different vision” said Hyer. “Instead of wasteful corporate tax welfare, investments should be targeted at small business and to create the jobs of the future – full-time, sustainable, green, value-added jobs that support families. We need to invest in education and promote innovation, so our kids are prepared for those high-skill jobs. We need to renew our public health care system …not just because people should have timely access to quality health care but because our public system plays a huge role in attracting and supporting business. And at long last we need comprehensive strategies for our resource sectors, like forestry & mining.”
“I remain hopeful that, despite the distinctly partisan direction laid out in the Throne Speech, Mr. Harper will be willing to moderate his agenda and come to a consensus with others on to tackle the issues facing Canadians.” Hyer concluded.