EDITORIAL: PM’s throne speech droned on and on
The problem with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s throne speech is that when you make a priority of almost everything you run the risk of accomplishing almost nothing.
In the throne speech opening Canada’s 44th Parliament on Tuesday, delivered by Governor General Mary Simon, Trudeau laid out the following priorities for his government.
Ready? Take a deep breath because here we go:
Recovering from COVID-19; building a resilient economy; reconciliation; climate change; health care; child care; long-term care; mental health and physical well-being; medical wait times; affordable housing and homelessness; gun violence; gun control; gun buybacks; law enforcement; reforming policing; reforming the criminal justice system; seniors; veterans; immigration and refugees; systemic racism; violence against women, building partnerships in the Indo-Pacific and across the Arctic; supporting official language minority communities, promoting French outside and inside Quebec.
Attacking the wishes, hopes and good intentions in Trudeau’s throne speech would be like kicking a puppy.
After all, who wouldn’t want to live in Nirvana?
But simply listing almost every function of the federal government — including many that are not the exclusive purview of Ottawa, requiring provincial and municipal buy-ins as well — is not the way to achieve it.
We don’t need Trudeau’s flowery rhetoric — and, to be fair, every political party in power does the same thing to the point where throne speeches are, unofficially, known as drone speeches in the sense that they drone on and on.
We don’t need government in love with its idealized vision of itself. We don’t need government that tries to be all things to all people all the time. We don’t need pie-in-the-sky government.