Throne Speech Opens 42nd Parliament – No Surprises

The Speech from the Throne, prepared by Ontario’s new Doug Ford government and read in the Legislature on July 12th by Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell to open the province’s 42nd Parliament and layout in a general direction of the new government’s legislative plans, contained few surprises.  Built around the theme of respect, it was mainly a laundry list of campaign promises that included the following:

  • Reduce gas prices
  • Reduce the price of electricity
  • Reduce taxes for parents, small businesses and the working poor
  • Scrap the cap and trade emissions trading system and all carbon tax schemes in all other forms
  • Stand with the federal government, the other provinces, businesses and workers to build a strong economy for the future; become an active participant in NAFTA negotiations especially with the 28 US states for which Ontario is their #1 or #2 trading partner
  • Lower taxes and reduce the regulatory burden to signal that Ontario is Open for Business
  • Initiate a Commission of Inquiry into Ontario’s public finances, conduct a line-by-line audit, eliminate waste and duplication
  • Balance the budget on a modest, responsible, pragmatic timetable
  • Put the interests of patients in the province’s health care system first while always respecting doctors, nurses and healthcare workers; increase the number of long-term care beds and increase spending on mental health and addiction
  • Turn back the clock on education, it’s back to the basics, the tried and true methods
  • Increase supports for families with children with autism
  • Partner with municipalities on transit
  • End green energy contracts in rural Ontario where they are not wanted
  • Build a new monument to recognize the heroes of the Afghanistan war
  • Expand the sale of beer and wine through new distribution channels

The only surprise was the opening pro forma conciliatory remarks about working together for all of the people of Ontario.  The speech ended with the Ford tagline “Help is here.”