2011 Speech from the Throne
On June 3, 2011 the federal Government tabled its program in the Speech From the Throne (SFT) entitled, “Here for all Canadians; Stability. Prosperity. Security.”
As expected, the SFT focused predominantly on implementing key initiatives outlined in the Conservative election platform such as implementing the next stage of Canada’s Economic Action Plan , including a return to balanced budgets and a focus on private sector job growth. The SFT also included commitments to eliminate the long gun registry, the monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board as well as introducing Senate Reform legislation. These measures are designed to address long standing issues for core Conservative supporters.
Of particular interest in the SFT are the following commitments;
- Continue to make targeted investments to promote and encourage research and development in Canada’s private sector and in our universities, colleges and polytechnics. It will look for ways to support innovation while ensuring that federal investment in research and development is effective and maximizes results for Canadians.
- Work with President Obama and his administration to deliver on the Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.
- Continue to welcome foreign investment that benefits Canada.
- Seek to eliminate the federal deficit by by 2015. In order to accelerate the return to a balanced budget and to eliminate the deficit one year earlier, over the next year it will undertake a Strategic and Operating Review of government spending led by a new Cabinet subcommittee established for this purpose. This review will be focused on reducing the cost of government, while keeping taxes low and preserving transfers to individuals and provinces for essential things like pensions, health and education. The Government will also complete its stimulus package as promised and continue specific measures to restrain the growth of government expenditures.
- Support major new clean energy projects of national or regional significance, such as the planned Lower Churchill hydroelectricity project in Atlantic Canada. It will engage the provinces, territories and industry on ways to improve the regulatory and environmental assessment process for resource projects, while ensuring meaningful consultation with affected communities, including Aboriginal communities.
- Continue to support Canada’s agricultural, forestry, fishing, mineral, manufacturing and energy sectors.
- Promote access to clean water and the deployment of clean energy technology in Aboriginal and northern communities.
Given the change in political dynamics that occurred with the election of a Conservative majority in the House of Commons to compliment the Conservative majority in the Senate , the Government now controls the legislative mechanisms to move forward with its stated program. The Government’s new challenge will be to manage the larger Conservative Caucus and balance regional interests to keep their program on track. Hence, the role of Regional Ministers and regional Caucus Chairs will most likely increase in importance as the Government begins to implement its agenda.
As previously announced the federal Government will be tabling its Budget on June 6th. , this will provide details on how the Government will seek to implement its program as outlined in the SFT.
Read the complete version of the Speech from the Throne.