Throne speech makes ‘vague promises,’ according to Saskatchewan premier

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe criticized the throne speech as an attack on the province as it failed to mention western Canadian industries like the energy and agriculture sectors.

On Wednesday, Moe told reporters at the Saskatchewan legislature he will not support the speech, blasting it as “a number of vague promises.”

“It’s simply not a speech from the throne with much substance or substance around supporting any industries that build wealth and build our communities in this province,” Moe said.

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He added he would have preferred a budget over a speech.

“It’s interesting in this year we have time to bring together a speech from the throne, but we haven’t been able to bring together a budget.”

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Wednesday’s throne speech presented the Liberal’s plan to move the nation forward, as the country braces for a $343-billion deficit incurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would like to see a federal budget at this particular year, to know where precisely the support is coming from, where it’s going, and how that’s supporting Saskatchewan industries,” Moe said.

“The only time in this Speech from the Throne Saskatchewan was essentially mentioned was in the phase-out of our energy workers. This does not provide me with any relief from the direction of this government.”

The speech pledged to fight climate change, combat systemic racism, and give municipalities the ability to ban guns.

Other plans include extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through to next summer and helping women reenter the workforce.

Read more: Throne speech pledges extended wage subsidy, help for women and taxes

The Liberal government also promised to change the overrepresentation of Black and Indigenous people in the justice system, where in Saskatchewan, Indigenous people make up 65 per cent of those in federal prison which is twice as much as the national average of 30 per cent.

More ambitiously, the Liberals revived their promise to deliver on national pharmacare and to implement national long-term care standards along with introducing criminal code measures to protect senior neglect.

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Moe was critical of the healthcare promises saying they “move dangerously close to provincial jurisdiction.”

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Throne speech: Governor General outlines ‘4 foundations’ of Trudeau government’s approach to COVID-19 pandemic

“We have a very comprehensive pharmaceutical coverage here in Saskatchewan. One of the best, if not the best in the nation,” Moe said.

The premier challenged the Liberal government to increase the federal health transfer to 35 per cent so provinces can address “the challenges in specific jurisdictions which are different from coast, to coast to coast.”

“Let’s work together to ensure we’re funding healthcare in a fair and equitable manner across Canada,” Moe said. “That was what we were looking for in the speech to the throne.”

Moe says he will spend the next few weeks “looking very closely” to the MPs that will support the speech and the federal government’s treatment toward Saskatchewan, which the premier said is “nothing short of an assault on Western Canadian industries.”

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“I would be laying the blame where it squarely should lie and that is within the NDP party in Canada and includes the NDP parties in our province,” Moe said.

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It remains uncertain whether the proposals laid out in the speech will be enough to gain opposition support.

As a minority government, the Liberals need the support of at least one other party in order to pass legislation and survive confidence votes, of which the throne speech is one.

The Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois stated they will not support the speech in a vote which leaves the fate of the government in the hands of the NDP.

Throne speech: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Liberal plan doesn’t go far enough

Throne speech: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Liberal plan doesn’t go far enough

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said on Wednesday that while the throne speech has “pretty words,” the Liberal track record does not make him optimistic that the words will lead to action.

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“They’ve been really good at saying the right words but not so good at actually delivering the right action or making people’s lives better,” said Singh in an interview with Global News.

“I’m not looking for a way to tear down government. I want to continue to fight for people … right now, our test to the Liberal government is this. You’re saying a lot of words. Where are your actions?”

It is unclear at this point when a vote on the throne speech will come.

— With files from

Throne speech: Conservatives ready for election if all Opposition parties vote against Liberals

Throne speech: Conservatives ready for election if all Opposition parties vote against Liberals

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