Irene's response to the Speech from the Throne

October 16, 2013




Ottawa- Today’s speech from the Throne sets the government’s tone and the agenda for the upcoming session of Parliament.  The speech indicates what government bills it intends to introduce and triggers a confidence vote in the House.


“I am concerned that Londoners will see little benefit from the Conservative agenda as laid out in tonight’s throne speech,” said Irene Mathyssen MP for London-Fansahwe.  “Our community desperately needs a job growth strategy and this speech outlines few initiatives that will promote job growth in our community.”


“As seniors’ critic, it concerns me that there is so little in the government’s plans for seniors in this country” said Mathyssen. “With a steady increase in the number of seniors expected over the next thirty years, now is the time to act to ensure that seniors do not face a retirement in poverty.   We need to improve the pension savings of Canadians, ensure access to quality healthcare and affordable and appropriate housing for the most vulnerable Canadians.”


“With today’s Throne Speech, the Harper government has chosen to ignore Canadian artists,” said Mathyssen, who is also the deputy Heritage Critic. “Even though Canadian artists receive international acclaim while abroad—winning the Nobel and Man Booker prizes for literature, garnering Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys—at home, the Canadian organizations which support the next generation of artists continue to be underfunded and put into jeopardy.”


“The Speech from the Throne highlighted Conservative plans to protect Canadian consumers, but the truth is they’ve been blocking NDP initiatives designed to help consumers for years” said Mathyssen.


In April 2009, the NDP introduced a motion calling for improved protections for consumers left vulnerable to credit card companies’ abusive practices. Despite being passed by the House of Commons, Conservatives failed to implement the motion. New Democrats have also twice introduced legislation to establish an Air Passenger Bill of Rights – and both times the NDP’s attempt to help airline customers was blocked by the Conservatives.