Reactions (if you represent a stakeholder and would like to see your release quoted here, email me):
The official Opposition is focused on making Parliament work for all Canadians during this time of economic turmoil and will not oppose today’s Speech from the Throne, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said today.
“By electing a minority government, Canadians are asking Parliament to work together to see our country through the economic challenges that we now face,” said Mr. Dion. “Demanding strong action from this government on the economy will be our primary task as the official Opposition.”
“It’s more of the same and people . . . want bold action” (no statement yet on the NDP site)
Canadian Taxpayers Federation:
Today’s throne speech earns a mixed review … The speech contains some good, some bad, and in some cases, downright ugly news for taxpayers moving forward in uncertain economic times.
The federal government will find Canadians are receptive to taking aim at wasteful programs, and a pledge to control the growth in the size and cost of the public service is welcome news. … It is unacceptable that a modern 21st century democracy appoints one quarter of its lawmakers. Keeping Senate reform on the agenda is a good move.
The Throne Speech seems to prepare for a return to deficit spending when it states that it would be “misguided to commit to a balanced budget at any cost.” … It is worrisome that a responsible government would be prepared to spend more than it takes in during tough times … Responsible Canadians do not have this luxury, why should governments? The federal government should leave no stone unturned in its pursuit of keeping the books in the black and getting spending under control is the first step … Taxpayers should be warned that a ‘cap-and-trade’ tax scheme is the evil twin of a carbon tax. Either way, it means higher energy prices and a costly bureaucratic mess that couldn’t come at a worse time. … Also, ugly is a commitment to offer further aid to the auto and aerospace industries.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities:
The Government of Canada has recognized the need to boost Canada’s economy in the face of worldwide financial turmoil and an impending recession, and it has chosen infrastructure spending as one of the remedies. We agree with the diagnosis and applaud this choice of remedy. Spending on infrastructure is a tried-and-true response to an economic slowdown. A study released by FCM earlier this month shows that accelerated infrastructure spending is the best way to boost our country’s economy and immunize it against a recession.
National Union of Public and General Employees:
It’s clear from this throne speech that the Harper government doesn’t view healthcare as a top priority and in fact seems to suggest the job is pretty much done.
That’s a huge disappointment for over-worked health professionals and patients waiting for critical services who are expecting and demanding national leadership on healthcare issues.
Canadian Labour Congress:
Today’s Throne Speech offers little hope or assurance to thousands of people being hit hard by the economic crisis, says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.
“This speech is supposed to put forward the government’s vision for the future,” Georgetti says, “but what Canadians heard today won’t help them sleep any easier tonight and some of what they heard may well give them nightmares. People want jobs and if they lose them they want protection but I don’t see those promises here.”
Canadian Housing and Renewal Association:
We commend the federal government for remembering that four million Canadians still cannot afford adequate housing and that 300,000 people experience homelessness in Canada annually. Today’s throne speech made promises for health care, jobs, the environment, and family life in order to help Canadians fully participate in the economy and in society, and it has to be remembered that housing is the foundation of this participation and therefore needs to be a top priority.
Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada:
Today’s Speech from the Throne gives some hope for the four million Canadians who lack decent affordable housing, the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada said today. The government committed to extending the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and helping more Canadians find affordable housing.
The Canadian Lung Association:
The Lung Association is pleased to see the government’s Throne Speech commitment to improving the lung health of Canadians.
Approximately 6 million people in Canada struggle with asthma, COPD, lung cancer and other lung diseases. The fact that the government has recognized how critical it is to improve the lung health of Canadians is excellent news and a clear sign that they wish to continue partnering on building a Canada free of lung disease.
Canadian Bankers Association:
he Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) fully supports the federal government’s commitment to a common securities regulator in Canada as announced in today’s Speech from the Throne. This step, along with other recent initiatives to facilitate credit markets in Canada, indicates that the government continues to take an appropriate and measured approach to deal with the global economic situation.
Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association:
In its Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada has pledged “To further reduce the cost pressures on Canadian business, our Government will take measures to encourage companies to invest in new machinery and equipment.”
The Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association (CCPA), along with other manufacturers, has been advocating such measures.
Canadian Association of Retired Persons:
CARP chapters and retiree groups were disappointed to learn that no action was promised in the Throne Speech to address the threats to their retirement security wrought by the current market chaos.
CARP chapters and other retiree groups across the cross country assembled to listen to the Throne Speech in the hopes of hearing what the government would do to respond to the clamour for immediate relief and longer term protection of their pensions.