Local MP comments on Speech from the Throne

Alex Ruff, Member of Parliament for Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound, released the following statement after the Government’s Speech from the Throne yesterday:

“I am disappointed to see that there was limited mention of important items that I, and that many constituents of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound were hoping to see in the Speech from the Throne. There was no mention of support for our agriculture sector, limited support for rural and remote communities, no concrete plan to ensure that all Canadians have access to high-speed internet ahead of the government’s current 2030 timeline, no reference to any fiscal anchor to ensure our children and grandchildren’s social programmes are still viable, and no hint of keeping our country unified. Perhaps most disturbing is there was no timeline or action plan to get rapid Covid-19 testing approved and delivered to Canadians despite many other countries (UK, Germany, USA) having approved these tests months ago. Without rapid testing, our businesses, schools, and parents will continue to be left behind. It is clear from the Throne Speech put forward today that the Government is not aware of the distinct challenges that rural ridings like Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound have been faced with over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“While it is positive to see mention of eliminating trade barriers between provinces, mention of a Disability Inclusion Plan and desire to increasing access to family doctors including rural and remote areas, the speech was very short on how the government plans to achieve these promises.

“I was also disappointed that the speech lacked a concrete plan to ensure Canada’s economic recovery nor any detailed solutions to addressing the key issues facing Canadians across the country. Further, there was no reference to Canada’s veterans, or priorities surrounding National Defence in the ever-changing global political landscape. As several opposition MPs highlighted during debate there was really nothing fundamentally new the Government hadn’t already announced over the last number of months, in the last Throne Speech, or during campaign promises over the last two federal elections. This begs the question, ‘why did the Prime Minister prorogue parliament?’

“This latest Speech from the Throne mentions a ‘Team Canada’ approach. It is my sincere hope that the Government will finally commit to a true collaborative team approach across party lines in the House of Commons. It is important for our country that all Parliamentarians work together, bringing their best ideas forward and putting unnecessary partisanship aside.

“I am glad the House of Commons has finally resumed and that I can bring the voice of my constituents to Ottawa. It is more important than ever, that all Parliamentarians come together to ensure Canada has a strong recovery. My colleagues and I will ensure all Canadians are represented in the House of Commons. We will continue to advocate on behalf of families, farmers, business owners, veterans, and the men and woman who proudly wear our nation’s uniform. Together, we can and will overcome adversity together and emerge from this pandemic stronger and more united than ever before.”